Troy Weaver hired as general manager to help Pistons reach ‘next level’

After two years without one, the Pistons have their new general manager.

Troy Weaver has agreed to join the Pistons’ front office, the team announced Thursday morning.

Weaver had been in the Oklahoma City Thunder organization for a decade, as an assistant general manager and most recently the vice president of basketball operations. He will be introduced at a virtual press conference next week.

Weaver, 52, joins the Pistons front office headed by Ed Stefanski, who is the senior adviser to team owner Tom Gores. Stefanski had been the de facto team president and general manager for the past two years, after the Pistons fired Stan Van Gundy as president and Jeff Bower as general manager in 2018.

“Troy is an outstanding executive with an exceptional track record for identifying and developing talent,” Pistons team owner Tom Gores said in a statement. “In talking with Troy, he’s got both the skill and temperament to lead, and the confidence and creativity to work collaboratively with others. We’re excited for him to take the reins as General Manager of the Pistons at this important moment.

“Ed and the team have done excellent work creating flexibility with our roster and establishing a clear direction. Troy comes aboard to help take us to the next level.”

In recent years, Weaver had been on many teams’ lists to potentially lead their front offices. The Pistons asked about interviewing Weaver for a position two years ago but were not granted permission.

Weaver is regarded for his decisions in player personnel, which starting in his first season with the Thunder in 2008, as he pushed for drafting Russell Westbrook with the No. 4 in the 2008 draft. At the time, Westbrook wasn’t projected as an elite NBA prospect, but Weaver identified him as a breakout star.

The Pistons are looking to bring that same eye for talent, as they are in position to have a top-five pick in this year’s draft and are projected to have about $30 million in salary-cap space to try to restructure the roster.

“It’s an honor for me to join a franchise with the history and tradition of the Detroit Pistons,” Weaver said in a team statement. “I’m excited for the challenge of building this team into a consistent winner and assembling the pieces to compete at a very high level. We’ll get to work right away, evaluating opportunities and installing systems that will make us all successful.”

Weaver becomes the ninth Black general manager in the NBA. During a period of increased scrutiny on the racial composition of front offices amid recent protests and the Black Lives Matter movement, Weaver takes a significant position in the Pistons organization.

Malik Rose was an assistant general manager but left the organization this month, taking a position in the NBA league office.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was first to report the agreement.

Troy Weaver resume

Oklahoma City: Vice president of basketball operations, 2019-20; vice president/assistant general manager, 2008-19

Utah Jazz: Director of player personnel, 2007-08; head scout, 2004-07

Syracuse University: Assistant coach, 2000-04

New Mexico: Assistant coach, 1999-2000

Pittsburgh: Assistant coach, 1996-99

Rod.Beard@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard