Weaver: Pistons Willing To Deal Lottery Pick

Pistons general manager Troy Weaver says he’s open to trading the No. 5 overall pick, according to Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press.

During a pre-draft press conference on Tuesday, Weaver indicated he’s intrigued by the talent level at that spot but wouldn’t rule out a swap.

“We’re still open to improving the team, absolutely,” he said. “Do we like the players that we’ve been vetting out at five? Absolutely. We’re still open to different opportunities as well. Definitely still looking at all of our options to improve the team. These top-five, top-seven picks are valuable because it’s unpredictable after one.”

Weaver said he’s ready to pounce if the right opportunity comes along. He used the Knicks’ desire to shed salary last year to work out a three-team, draft-night swap that landed the Pistons another lottery pick, which they used on Jalen Duren. Weaver could also use the team’s cap space — projected to be around $30MM — to acquire contracts from teams looking to dump salary with future assets attached.

“There could be some vulnerable situations that we could take advantage of and we want to be prepared and working hard to make sure that if those opportunities are afforded, we’re there,” Weaver said, as relayed by Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.

If the Pistons keep their pick — or even if they move down a few spots — Weaver will seek a potential star over a safer option.

“I like the long ball,” he said. “I’m not bunting or trying to slap it into short center. I take a big swing. Especially if I only have one chance at it. If I have three chances, OK, I may bunt one. But one chance at it, I’m going for the big fly. That’s me.”

Weaver added that new head coach Monty Williams has been an active participant in draft evaluations.

“Since he’s been hired, he’s been a part of everything — the interviews, the on-court workouts and watching film,” Weaver said. “He’s jumped in with two feet, he’s ready and has a lot of keen insight on players that we really value.”

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