Troy Weaver

Troy Weaver To Join Wizards As Senior Advisor

Former Pistons general manager Troy Weaver will become a senior advisor with the Wizards, sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

As rumored last week, Weaver will reunite with Monumental Sports/Wizards president Michael Winger and GM Will Dawkins, who took over the team last summer. The three executives spent more than a decade together in Oklahoma City’s front office.

Wojnarowski hears that Weaver’s agent, Andy Miller of Klutch Sports, is finalizing a contract to have Weaver in place in time for Wednesday’s draft and the start of free agency this weekend. A team executive tells Woj that Winger and Dawkins consider Weaver to be a “truth teller” who is willing to challenge them regarding difficult decisions.

Weaver is also viewed as an expert on prospect evaluation and player development, according to Wojnarowski, who cites his role in creating the powerful Thunder team built around Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden.

Weaver is a Washington, D.C., native, and Wojnarowski notes that he launched his career as head coach of DC Assault, a successful AAU program. That led to assistant coaching jobs in the college ranks with Pittsburgh, New Mexico and Syracuse and eventually an NBA opportunity as the head scout in Utah.

Weaver and the Pistons parted ways in what was termed a “mutual decision” earlier this month as part of an organizational housecleaning after Trajan Langdon was hired as head of basketball operations. Detroit also dismissed head coach Monty Williams and is still searching for his replacement.

Although he didn’t produce much on-court success during his four years with the Pistons, Weaver assembled a promising collection of young talent. Draft picks during his tenure produced Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren and Ausar Thompson.

Scotto’s Latest: J. Smith, Toppin, Weaver, Hartenstein, Huerter, O’Neale, More

Early indications suggest that Pacers power forward Jalen Smith will decline his $5.4MM player option for next season and become an unrestricted free agent, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reports in his latest aggregate mock draft. Sources tell Scotto that a final decision hasn’t been made, but Smith appears to be leaning toward testing the free agency waters. He has a June 29 deadline to opt in for 2024/25.

Smith, 24, appeared in 61 games this season and posted a career high in scoring at 9.9 PPG, along with 5.5 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 17.2 minutes per night. He was selected 10th overall by Phoenix in the 2020 draft and was acquired by Indiana at the 2022 trade deadline.

Scotto notes that rival teams are watching to see whether the Pacers will re-sign restricted free agent Obi Toppin. If the fourth-year power forward reaches a new deal, there’s a belief that Indiana might be willing to trade Jarace Walker, who was a lottery pick last June.

Scotto shares more inside information in his aggregate draft:

  • Washington is believed to be a potential destination for former Pistons general manager Troy Weaver, who recently parted ways with the team, Scotto writes, noting that Weaver was once part of Oklahoma City’s front office along with Wizards executives Michael Winger and Will Dawkins.
  • Scotto talked with some NBA executives who believe the Magic should be considered a threat to sign Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein. Orlando could have close to $50MM in cap space to work with.
  • Executives also expect the Kings to explore deals involving Kevin Huerter and Harrison Barnes, Scotto adds.
  • The Raptors plan to work out an extension with Scottie Barnes this summer, sources tell Scotto. The versatile swingman made his first All-Star appearance this year.
  • Scotto echoes other reports in stating that Royce O’Neale is likely to reach a new contract with the Suns. The 31-year-old forward, who was acquired from Brooklyn at the trade deadline, is expected to receive about $10MM per year, according to Scotto.
  • Vice president of basketball operations Brent Barry isn’t expected to return to the Spurs next season, sources tell Scotto. The longtime NBA player has been an executive with San Antonio since 2018.
  • Assistant coach Jason Love will likely leave the Sixers and join Doc Rivers’ staff with the Bucks, Scotto states. Love previously worked for Rivers in Philadelphia.
  • The Hornets are assembling a staff of assistants for new head coach Charles Lee. Scotto hears it will include Lamar SkeeterJosh LongstaffChris JentRyan FrazierZach PetersonMatt Hill and Blaine Mueller.

Central Notes: Bird, Pacers, Pistons, Portis

Six players who participated in a pre-draft workout for the Pacers on Wednesday were surprised when a Hall of Famer showed up to watch them, writes Zion Brown of The Indianapolis Star. Larry Bird, who was hired as a consultant last June, walked into the gym to observe the prospects, who noticed his presence immediately.

“It’s exciting,” Oakland’s Jack Gohlke said. “Obviously (he’s) an NBA legend, and a guy who has been with the Pacers organization for forever and a legend with the Celtics, too. So I think it’s just really cool. … I would say it’s almost easier to play in front of a sold-out arena than to have these guys sitting courtside, but it’s still a really cool experience.”

Bird has worked for the Pacers in several capacities over the years, starting as head coach in 1997. Tyrese Haliburton and Isaiah Jackson also made an appearance on Wednesday, but the focus was on Bird, even though the players at the workout were all born well after his playing career ended.

“Once he walked in I was like, ‘I recognize him,’” UC-Santa Barbara’s Ajay Mitchell said. “It’s amazing to see him here. Working in front of him, it’s a great opportunity and it’s a blessing to have him around.”

Also participating in the workout were Yongxi Cui of China, Thijs de Ridder of Belgium, TCU’s Emanuel Miller and Michigan State’s Tyson Walker. Indiana owns picks 36, 49 and 50 in this month’s draft.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Pacers have another workout set for Thursday featuring Baylor’s Jalen Bridges, North Carolina State’s D.J. Burns Jr., West Virginia’s Jesse Edwards, Kentucky’s Antonio Reeves and Morehead State’s Kalil Thomas, the team announced (via Twitter). Indiana’s Xavier Johnson was a late replacement for USC’s Boogie Ellis (Twitter link).
  • New Pistons head of basketball operations Trajan Langdon has a challenge to try to fix an organization that has been sputtering for years, observes Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News. Wojnowski blames owner Tom Gores, whom he accuses of meddling too often, as well as the people he has entrusted to run the franchise. He criticizes former general manager Troy Weaver for his roster construction, particularly his willingness to take on big men who failed elsewhere, and coach Monty Williams for his insistence on playing Killian Hayes and his misuse of Jaden Ivey early in the season.
  • Bobby Portis should be thrilled by the return of Darvin Ham to the Bucks‘ coaching staff, notes Christopher Kuhagen of The Journal-Sentinel. Kuhagen recalls that after Milwaukee was eliminated from the playoffs in 2023, Portis sent out a social media message that read, “Only thing hurt us was D ham leaving. That ain’t talked about enough.”

Pistons Part Ways With GM Troy Weaver

JUNE 1: The Pistons announced Weaver’s departure in a press release, calling it a “mutual decision.”

“I very much appreciate all the dedication Troy displayed to our Pistons franchise,” Gores said in a statement.  “As much as we have struggled lately, we will look back and see Troy as an important person in the remaking of the Pistons. He took the pain of rebuilding head on and he did the hard work to get us the flexibility we have today. He also assembled a great core of young men with tremendous skill and character to give us a path to the future. Make no mistake, I have real appreciation for who Troy is as a person and what he has meant to the organization. I wish him the very best as he pursues his ventures.”

MAY 31: The Pistons and general manager Troy Weaver are parting ways following the team’s decision to hire Trajan Langdon as its new head of basketball operations, according to James L. Edwards III and Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Reporting ahead of Langdon’s hiring indicated that Detroit’s new top front office decision-maker would be given the freedom to either retain or let go of Weaver. According to Edwards and Charania, the Pistons offered Weaver the option of staying with the franchise in an off-site scouting role, but he turned down that position and will leave the organization.

Weaver was hired as the Pistons’ general manager in 2020 and oversaw a full-scale rebuild during his four-year tenure. However, the team hasn’t made the strides that ownership and management were hoping for and expecting. After winning 20 games in Weaver’s first year and 23 in his second, Detroit has gotten even worse over the last two seasons, compiling just 17 wins in 2022/23 and a league-worst 14 this past season.

Weaver made some good draft picks during his time with the Pistons, as Edwards and Charania note. Cade Cunningham, 2021’s No. 1 overall pick, has star potential, 2020 first-rounder Isaiah Stewart has developed into a solid rotation player, and Ausar Thompson, Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren, and Marcus Sasser have shown promise. However, Weaver’s first lottery pick – Killian Hayes at No. 7 in 2020 – was a miss, and his moves to fill out the roster around the young core weren’t particularly fruitful.

Langdon is expected to have “free rein” to make changes to both the front office and coaching staff, according to Edwards and Charania, who say that team owner Tom Gores has told him that money is no object.

With Weaver no longer in the picture, Detroit is in serious talks to potentially hire another Pelicans executive, league sources tell The Athletic — Michael Blackstone, the VP of basketball administration in New Orleans, could become Langdon’s second-in-command with the Pistons, per Edwards and Charania. Blackstone spent time in the Cavaliers’ and Hawks’ front offices before being hired by the Pelicans in 2020.

Pistons Notes: Langdon, Weaver, Draft, Fontecchio

To succeed as the Pistons‘ new head of basketball operations, Trajan Langdon will have to be given total freedom to remake the organization as he sees fit, contends Shawn Windsor of The Detroit Free Press. Windsor notes that Langdon impressed team owner Tom Gores by building one of the league’s best young rosters with the Pelicans. He’ll have a head start on that process with a Detroit team that’s about to pick in the top five for the fourth straight season.

Windsor expects Langdon to part with general manager Troy Weaver, whose roster moves haven’t produced any on-court success during his four years on the job. A decision will also have to be made about head coach Monty Williams, who is still owed $67.5MM in guaranteed money from the record-setting contract last summer. Williams failed to develop the team’s young talent, according to Windsor, and often gave the impression that he only took the job because of the money.

Langdon’s greatest challenge will be trying to forge a competent roster from a group that only had 14 wins this season. Windsor observes that the Pistons won’t really know how good Cade Cunningham can be until they surround him with teammates who complement his skills. He adds that Langdon built a reputation as an effective talent evaluator in New Orleans, so management should trust his judgment as a new rebuilding process begins.

There’s more from Detroit:

  • Finding or developing a rim protector should be an offseason priority, Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press writes in a mailbag column. Sankofa says Jalen Duren is physically able to handle the job, but he needs to improve in terms of timing and consistent effort. Isaiah Stewart is undersized for a center, which makes him less of a deterrent under the basket. Sankofa lists ball control and shooting as other areas of concern, as the Pistons were 28th in turnovers per game and assist-to-turnover ratio and 26th in three-point shooting percentage.
  • Trading out of the draft may help spark the rebuild quicker than adding another young player, Sankofa adds in part two of his mailbag. He notes that the Pistons’ roster already includes six first-round picks made by Weaver. Stewart has signed an extension and Cunningham is expected to this summer, while Ivey and Duren become extension-eligible in 2025. Sankofa points out that decisions are already being made about which young players are going to form the team’s foundation, and another lottery pick might complicate the process.
  • Simone Fontecchio, who recently underwent left foot surgery, won’t be able to play for Italy this summer in an Olympic qualifying tournament, according to a Sportando report.

Pistons Intend To Hire Trajan Langdon As Head Of Basketball Operations

The Pistons plan to hire Trajan Langdon away from the Pelicans to become their new head of basketball operations, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who reports (via Twitter) that the two sides are working toward finalizing a deal. That deal likely won’t be completed until next week, tweets Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press.

Langdon has spent the last five years as New Orleans’ general manager, serving as the second-in-command to executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin. According to Will Guillory of The Athletic (Twitter link), officials within the Pelicans organization “rave about his talent evaluation skills.”

A former standout as a player at Duke, Langdon was drafted with the 11th overall pick in 1999, though he spent just three seasons in the NBA with the Cavaliers. He went on to become a star overseas, winning a pair of EuroLeague titles in 2006 and 2008 with CSKA Moscow. He made multiple All-EuroLeague teams, earned EuroLeague Final Four MVP honors in 2008, and was named top the EuroLeague’s All-Decade team for the 2000s.

After retiring as a player in 2011, Langdon got his first front office role in San Antonio, working as a scout for the Spurs from 2012-15. Before being hired by the Pelicans, he was an assistant general manager with the Nets for three years under Sean Marks.

Long viewed as a candidate to eventually run a front office, Langdon actually interviewed for the Pelicans’ top job in 2019 before being hired under Griffin. He later received consideration for head of basketball operations jobs in Sacramento and Washington.

After finishing the 2023/24 season with a 14-68 record, marking their fourth straight year at or near the bottom of the NBA’s standings, the Pistons confirmed in mid-April that they were seeking a president of basketball operations who would replace Troy Weaver as the front office’s top decision-maker.

Langdon was named last week as one of four frontrunners for the job, along with Scott Perry, Dennis Lindsey, and John Hammond. According to James L. Edwards and Shams Charania of The Athletic, Lindsey was the other finalist, and both he and Langdon met with team owner Tom Gores multiple times in recent weeks before the club made a decision.

The Pistons considered over a dozen candidates during their search process, per Edwards and Charania. Their list of possible targets reportedly included Timberwolves president Tim Connelly, who will have the opportunity to opt out of his contract with Minnesota this offseason. However, Detroit has decided to move forward with Langdon rather than waiting to see if Connelly will be available.

Previous reports indicated that the Pistons’ new front office executive will have the final say on Weaver – who remains with the franchise for now – as well as head coach Monty Williams. Like Langdon, Williams previously spent five years working in New Orleans, though their Pelicans stints didn’t overlap at all. Williams still has five years and $60MM+ left on his contract, but Gores is willing to eat that money if Langdon decides he wants to bring in a new coach, according to The Athletic.

As for the Pelicans, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype recently reported that assistant general manager Bryson Graham would likely be the top candidate for a promotion to GM if Langdon were to leave the organization.

Pistons Have Four Frontrunners In Search For President Of Basketball Operations

Four candidates stood out in the Pistons‘ first round of interviews as they look for a new president of basketball operations, sources tell Vincent Goodwill and Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

Pelicans general manager Trajan Langdon, former Knicks GM and current ESPN analyst Scott Perry, Mavericks advisor Dennis Lindsey, and Magic senior advisor John Hammond were all impressive in their meetings with the firm that’s conducting the initial search, according to the authors’ sources. They are considered frontrunners to meet with owner Tom Gores, who hopes to hire someone in advance of the draft.

Goodwill and Fischer suggest that Detroit might be waiting to see if Timberwolves president Tim Connelly becomes available before making a final decision, echoing a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic earlier this week. Connelly’s contract includes an opt-out clause at the end of the season, and he may be tempted to leave Minnesota, given the franchise’s unstable ownership situation.

Whoever takes over the Pistons’ front office will determine whether general manager Troy Weaver and head coach Monty Williams will remain with the team. There are several other important decisions upcoming this offseason, including a possible rookie scale extension for Cade Cunningham and how to spend up to $64MM in cap room.

Several of the top candidates have previous ties to the Pistons organization, the authors note. When Langdon was a player, his agent was Arn Tellem, who now serves as the team’s vice chairman. Perry is a Detroit native who got his first executive job with the Pistons in 2000 and served as vice president of basketball operations from 2008-12. Hammond was formerly an assistant coach and assistant general manager in Detroit.

Tim Connelly Among Potential Targets For Pistons’ President Opening

The Pistons would be interested in Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly if Connelly exercises the opt-out clause in his contract with Minnesota at the end of the season, Marc Stein reports in his latest Substack post.

The dispute between current Timberwolves majority owner Glen Taylor and minority owners Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore could cause Connelly to weigh his future in Minnesota. Connelly signed a five-year, $40MM contract with the organization in 2022. The Pistons announced after their season ended that they would hire a president of basketball operations.

Here’s more info on the Pistons’ search for a new president, via Stein:

  • Detroit’s search is expected to ramp up during the second and third rounds of the playoffs, when more potential candidates will be available for interviews. Stein confirms that Bucks general manager – and former Pistons employee – Jon Horst will be a candidate if he is willing to move on from Milwaukee.
  • Mavericks consultant and former Jazz executive Dennis Lindsey is another name to watch for the basketball ops position, per Stein.
  • J.J. Redick, a candidate for the Hornets’ coaching vacancy, could get an interview if he’s interested in a front office job, Stein says. Pistons chairman Arn Tellem represented Redick in his days as a player agent.
  • The new president of basketball operations will have the ability to decide whether current GM Troy Weaver will remain in his position, be reassigned to a different front office role, or get cut loose, according to Stein. The new exec will also determine whether head coach Monty Williams, who just completed the first year of a six-year contract worth nearly $80MM, will remain in his position.

Pistons Notes: FA, Trade Targets, Draft, President, More

Appearing on the HoopsHype podcast with Michael Scotto, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic said the Pistons will likely explore the viability of pursuing Miles Bridges or Tobias Harris in free agency, though he conceded that could change depending who they hire to be the new president of basketball operations.

While he doesn’t expect Detroit to give anyone a long-term, maximum-salary deal, Edwards suggested a short-term deal with a higher annual salary could be an option if the team pursues Bridges or Harris. Edwards also thinks the Pistons will undergo a “significant roster overhaul” this offseason through a combination of trades and free agent signings, with Malik Monk another impending free agent to potentially keep an eye on.

Scotto said the Nets want to keep Nic Claxton on a long-term contract, and Brian Lewis of The New York Post recently told Scotto he believes there’s better than a 50/50 chance the center will remain with Brooklyn. However, Edwards thinks Claxton would fill a major need for Detroit as a rim protector, even though it might push Jalen Duren to a reserve role.

Edwards previously listed five ideas for the new head of basketball operations, and Scotto believes Bucks GM Jon Horst, a Michigan native, is the main name to keep an eye on.

As for the futures of GM Troy Weaver and head coach Monty Williams, Edwards said he wouldn’t be surprised if neither is back next season, particularly Weaver. Despite being on a lucrative long-term deal, Edwards placed the odds at 60/40 that Williams would not be Detroit’s head coach in 2024/25.

Here’s more on the Pistons:

  • Edwards of The Athletic predicts that, of the veteran free agents Detroit has this offseason, only Simone Fontecchio will be retained. Edwards is convinced of that happening, putting the odds at 100%. He also thinks Fontecchio will receive a four-year deal worth in the range of $56-68MM as a restricted free agent. The Italian forward has said he expects to be back next season.
  • In a mailbag for The Detroit Free Press (subscription required), Omari Sankofa II discusses the Pistons’ basketball operations hierarchy, among other topics. The objective of hiring a president of basketball operations, according to Sankofa’s sources, is to “unify a front office that has clearly hit a significant stump, to say the least, in its ongoing remake of the team.” That person would have full autonomy over who gets hired and fired, Sankofa adds.
  • If the Pistons decide to keep their first-round pick, who should they target? If it lands No. 1 overall, Edwards of The Athletic would select French big man Alexandre Sarr, who played for the Perth Wildcats of the NBL this season. However, if it were up to him, Edwards says he’d trade the pick. After finishing with the worst record in the NBA for the second straight season, Detroit has a 14% chance of landing the top selection and can do no worse than No. 5 overall.

Pistons Seeking President Of Basketball Operations

8:57pm: The Pistons officially announced (via Twitter) that they’re planning to make front office changes and will hire a new head of basketball operations, who would work directly under team owner Tom Gores. Weaver and the current basketball operations executives will remain in their current positions while the search takes place, per the team.

3:05pm: The Pistons have decided they will hire a president of basketball operations, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that the search process will begin this week.

Local reporters, including James L. Edwards III of The Athletic and Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press, had been suggesting this would happen. Prior to Charania’s report, Sankofa tweeted that the Pistons were expected to “formalize” their search for a president of basketball operations within the next day or so.

As Sankofa and Edwards have written, it doesn’t sound as if general manager Troy Weaver would be dismissed as a result of this change to the front office. However, it would certainly be a demotion for Weaver, who has functioned as the team’s head of basketball operations since being hired in 2020. Under the new structure, he would report to Detroit’s new president of basketball operations.

According to Sankofa (subscription required), the Pistons would likely want to fortify the front office with other executives who are either below Weaver in the hierarchy or on the same level. If Weaver and the Pistons aren’t on the same page with ownership’s plan to revamp its front office, it’s possible the two sides could go their separate ways, but it doesn’t appear that’s the plan for now.

It has been a dismal four years in Detroit since Weaver was hired away from the Thunder to replace Ed Stefanski atop the Pistons’ basketball operations department. The club hasn’t won more than 23 games in a season during that time, compiling an overall record of 74-244 (.233).

There was some hope entering the 2023/24 season that the team’s young core – including Cade Cunningham, Jalen Duren, Isaiah Stewart, Ausar Thompson, and Jaden Ivey – might be ready to take a step forward and get the Pistons into the play-in mix. Instead, the team finished dead last in the NBA with a 14-68 mark, setting a new league record for most consecutive losses in a single season (28).

While there have been no concrete reports yet on which candidates might receive consideration for the president of basketball operations position in Detroit, Edwards listed some ideas in his latest article for The Athletic, identifying Jon Horst (Bucks), John Hammond (Magic), Neil Olshey (formerly of the Trail Blazers), Bryson Graham (Pelicans), and Dwane Casey as possible fits.

Marc Stein (Twitter link) confirms that there’s a belief the Pistons will have interest in exploring the viability of hiring Horst away from Milwaukee.