Jeff Peterson

Pistons Notes: Weaver Hiring, Wood, Griffin

The Pistons‘ long pursuit of Troy Weaver finally paid off Thursday when he was hired to be the team’s general manager, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. A league source tells Beard that Detroit had strong interest in Weaver when team president/coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Jeff Bower were dismissed two years ago, but the Thunder wouldn’t grant permission for an interview.

Weaver, 52, spent more than a decade in the Oklahoma City front office and was instrumental in building a team that reached the NBA Finals. He was an advocate for drafting Russell Westbrook with the fourth pick in 2008, even though he wasn’t projected that high. Pistons vice chairman Arn Tellem previously worked with Wasserman Media Group, which represented Westbrook.

“We’re rebuilding our roster and Troy brings a tremendous amount of experience. He’s one of those guys who has a knack for talent,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said in an NBA-TV interview. “A lot of the growth and building they did in Oklahoma City Thunder, he was a big part of that. … The next couple of years of developing our roster is a key time in our organization.”

There’s more from Detroit:

  • In addition to Tellem and Casey, Weaver spoke with senior adviser Ed Stefanski, owner Tom Gores and the Pistons’ assistant general managers during the interview process so the organization could get a “fully rounded view,” according to James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Weaver will be given free rein to hire more assistant GMs and support staff. Sources tell Edwards that Nets assistant GM Jeff Peterson and Clippers assistant GM Mark Hughes were both impressive in their interviews and received serious consideration for the job.
  • Re-signing Christian Wood should be Weaver’s top priority, states Ansar Khan of MLive. Wood will be an unrestricted free agent after a breakout performance over the last month of the season, but faces a market limited by financial uncertainty and a shortage of teams with cap space. Detroit owns Wood’s early Bird rights and can start his new deal at a little more than the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, which is expected to be about $9.7MM. The Celtics and Rockets both expressed interest in Wood at the trade deadline, Khan adds.
  • Weaver also faces an important decision on Blake Griffin, who still has two years and approximately $75.6MM left on his contract, writes Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit News. Griffin was limited to 18 games this season because of a knee injury and at age 31, he doesn’t fit the team’s rebuilding timeline. Sankofa notes that Weaver was part of two franchise-altering trades last summer involving Paul George and Westbrook.

Thunder’s Weaver Among Favorites For Pistons’ GM Job

Thunder executive Troy Weaver has emerged as the frontrunner for the Pistons‘ general manager opening, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times (via Twitter). Stein reports that the Pistons are “actively working” to complete a deal with Weaver, while Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports tweets that both sides want to make it happen.

Weaver, who has been with the Thunder for more than a decade following a stint with the Jazz, holds the title of vice president of basketball operations after previously serving as the team’s VP/assistant GM. He’s Sam Presti‘s top lieutenant in Oklahoma City and has been a candidate for other top basketball operations jobs around the NBA in recent years.

Weaver was reportedly in the running for the Wizards’ general manager opening a year ago before the team decided to remain in-house, promoting Tommy Sheppard. Weaver also received interest from the Bulls this spring, but reportedly turned down a second interview because he had heard Chicago was zeroing in on Arturas Karnisovas.

We heard way back in May of 2018 that the Pistons were interested in pursuing Weaver, though nothing came of it at the time — the club instead hired Ed Stefanski as a senior advisor, making him the de facto head of basketball operations. Now, Weaver may be on track to work alongside Stefanski in Detroit’s front office, and could even eventually supplant him if Stefanski shifts to a background role, as has been speculated.

However, no deal is done yet, and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski suggests (via Twitter) that there are a couple other executives who are also considered serious candidates for the Pistons’ job. Wojnarowski identifies Clippers assistant GM Mark Hughes and Nets assistant GM Jeff Peterson as contenders for the GM vacancy, adding that conversations between the Pistons and their top candidates will continue this week.

Hughes, who was a candidate this spring for the Bulls’ GM job that was eventually filled by Marc Eversley, has been with the Clippers since 2017, having previously served as the Knicks’ director of player personnel. Peterson was an assistant GM for several years in Atlanta before being hired away from the Hawks by Brooklyn last May.

In light of the multiple reports suggesting that the Pistons would make it a priority to conduct a diverse GM search, it’s worth noting that Weaver, Hughes, and Peterson are all black.

Nets Add Jeff Peterson As New Assistant GM

The Nets have hired Jeff Peterson to fill their assistant GM vacancy, the team announced on its website. He replaces Trajan Langdon, who was hired last week as the new GM in New Orleans.

Peterson spent the past seven seasons with the Hawks and served as assistant GM in Atlanta for the last three years.

“Jeff is an innovative basketball executive who shares our strategic team building vision and will fit seamlessly within our culture,” said Brooklyn GM Sean Marks. “His extensive scouting and front office experience will be tremendous assets to our group as we continue to move forward.”

Peterson joined the Hawks in 2012 as a seasonal basketball operations assistant. He was later promoted to coordinator of basketball operations and then director of scouting.

“Jeff grew into a key member of our basketball operations team over his seven years in Atlanta, and we are appreciative of all of his work during his time here,” Hawks GM Travis Schlenk told Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We wish him and his wife, Lauren, the best moving forward.”

Hawks Rumors: Millsap, Wilcox, Front Office

It was a “poorly-kept secret” in NBA circles that Wes Wilcox and Mike Budenholzer haven’t seen eye-to-eye on the Hawks’ direction in recent years, according to TNT’s David Aldridge. In his latest Morning Tip column on NBA.com, Aldridge takes a deep dive on the Hawks and the “philosophical” differences between Wilcox and Budenholzer, citing one source who referred to the front office situation as “a Game of Thrones kind of thing.”

According to Aldridge’s sources, Wilcox was in favor of trading Paul Millsap earlier this year and going all-in on an Atlanta rebuild, but Budenholzer – who retained final say on the team’s personnel moves at the time – nixed that idea.

[RELATED: David Griffin, Joe Dumars, Troy Weaver on Hawks’ radar?]

Although Hawks owner Tony Ressler – in a conversation with Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution – dismissed the notion that Budenholzer and Wilcox couldn’t work together, both men were re-assigned last week to roles that reduce their influence within the basketball operations department. Budenholzer is no longer the president of basketball ops, while Wilcox is no longer the Hawks’ GM.

Here’s more out of Atlanta:

  • No matter who the Hawks hire as their next GM, Millsap is expected to negotiate directly with Ressler this offseason, per Aldridge. And Atlanta will do everything it can to re-sign the All-Star big man. “There’s no disagreement on whether we’re going to try and keep him, and whether he’s great for the Atlanta Hawks,” Ressler said of Millsap.
  • While Millsap has publicly expressed a desire to remain with the Hawks, there are “rumblings about what he really thought about this season,” according to Aldridge, who writes that “there was unhappiness among some with a lack of accountability for other players who consistently made mistakes on the floor.”
  • Said one Hawks source to Aldridge: “We had guys out there doing (stuff) they had no business doing.”
  • Some members of the Hawks were also confused about why Thabo Sefolosha fell out of the club’s rotation in the playoffs, says Aldridge.
  • Ressler is serious about continuing to listen to Wes Wilcox‘s input as the former GM moves to a new advisory role, per Aldridge. The Hawks owner will also listen to input from execs like assistant GM Jeff Peterson and director of player personnel John Treloar, who were hired by Wilcox.
  • Wilcox is negotiating a new contract with the Hawks as he transitions to his new role, according to Aldridge, who notes that the deal will have offset protection for the franchise in case Wilcox finds a job with another team.
  • With free agency looming, Millsap still feels like he can improve as a player, as KL Chouinard of Hawks.com details.

Southeast Notes: Peterson, Lee, Richardson

The Hawks have promoted Jeff Peterson to assistant general manager, the team announced. “Jeff has been an integral part of our front office over the past few seasons. In that time, he has demonstrated the ability to identify players who fit our culture and system; build meaningful relationship across the world of basketball; while continuing to learn the complexities of team-building in the NBA,” GM Wes Wilcox said.  “Jeff has a bright future in the NBA and we would like to congratulate Jeff on this opportunity.

Peterson, who joined the Hawks as a seasonal assistant in 2012, was promoted to Director of Scouting before the start of the 2015/16 season.  Prior to that, he served as a scout and coordinator of basketball Operations for the franchise.

Here’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Hornets swingman Courtney Lee is excited at the prospect of becoming an unrestricted free agent at the same time the league’s new TV deal kicks in, David Baumann of Basketball Insiders writes. “It’s going to be eye-opening,” Lee told Baumann. “I don’t think people understand how much money is involved with this new TV deal.”
  • Lee, who is expected to land a deal in the range of $11MM-14MM per year, believes the extra cap space Charlotte will have this offseason, courtesy of the TV deal, will help keep the roster intact, Baumann adds in the same piece. “The one good thing about this summer is there’s a lot more flexibility in the cap with the TV deal coming into play, so Charlotte should be in a position to make a play for the guys they want to keep,” Lee said. “With the chemistry with these guys, it was fun playing with them. There were no egos. Everybody played together and it was all about winning.”
  • Former Syracuse shooting guard Malachi Richardson worked out for the Hawks today, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer tweets.
  • We relayed earlier this evening that the Hawks and Sixers are reportedly discussing a potential swap involving Nerlens Noel and Jeff Teague.