Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores describes collaborative trade deadline process that reshaped the roster: ‘A lot of all-nighters’

February 13, 2024 | Articles News

Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores describes collaborative trade deadline process that reshaped the roster: ‘A lot of all-nighters’

By Vince Ellis
Special for

LOS ANGELES – Just before Christmas, with the franchise in the throes of a historic losing streak, Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores took accountability and promised things would change.

Fifty days later, a completely revamped roster took the Western Conference’s second-best team to the
wire in a 112-106 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Gores was seated courtside at Arena,
encouraging the team as it led by as much as 13 points before Clippers superstars Paul George and
Kawhi Leonard took over.

Three new players (Simone Fontecchio, Troy Brown and Shake Milton) made their Pistons debuts two
days after the NBA trade deadline. Two more trade deadline acquisitions, Quentin Grimes and Evan
Fournier, will be available soon. In total, the Pistons have added seven new players in an effort to bring
more shooting and improve the defense. The Pistons were able to improve the roster without sacrificing
the young core of Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren, Isaiah Stewart, Ausar Thompson and
Marcus Sasser. The team is projected to have roughly $60 million to utilize this summer in free agency.

“We needed to mix up our roster,” Gores said. “We had to let a few of our players go. We just needed to
change it up a little bit, create some more pace-and-space for our young guys. We were at it, working all
last week.

“We just needed to change things up for the sake of the team and let the young guys fly free.”
Gores also described a collaborative trade deadline process with general manager Troy Weaver,
assistant general manager George David and other members of the Pistons front office. Gores said he
was in Detroit in the days leading up to the deadline.

“(I was there) almost every day,” Gores said. “(At first), we did a lot of it on Zooms calls. Over the last
ten days, the front office will tell you, Troy will tell you, that we had a lot of all-nighters, staying up really
late. We had to make sure we were making the right decisions for this team.

“It’s a pivotal moment, and you have to know when it’s pivotal. For us, it was important to get the right
makeup and I thought we made pretty good moves. We also have a lot of cap space now in the summer. We gained some good players.”

Gores also expressed confidence in Weaver as he answered several more questions.

(Questions and answers have been edited for clarity).

Q: Where is your overall confidence level with Troy and the front office as a whole after seeing what
they did at the deadline?

Gores: “The first thing we did was take accountability for the mistakes we made. As an organization you
really can’t go forward unless you acknowledge what didn’t work. If you don’t look at your past for a
little bit and respect what was right and what was wrong, it’s very hard to move forward. I have
confidence in Troy. I have confidence. We leaned on each other during this process, but we also didn’t
avoid the idea that we were accountable. It gave us the pathway to move forward.”

Q: Did you look at the deadline as a way to add players that can help in the future?

Gores: “I think we did. This is just the beginning. We have to learn from what didn’t work and we have
to take that forward. As I told the team and front office team and everybody else is we have to get
better (and learn) from our losses. That’s our opportunity.”

Q: This season isn’t what was expected, but has this season given you important data points to go
forward because you know better what you need now?

Gores: “One data point is seeing how everyone reacts in tough times. I learned a lot about the (players), and they learned a lot about me. As in life, until you hit those hard times, you never know how
somebody is going to react. One of the things I learned is they reacted well (to adversity). They showed
hearts and guts. They are fighting tonight and I’m really proud of them.”

Q: What would you qualify as a success for the remainder of the season?

Gores: “To compete like we are tonight, for the young group to grow up and for us to make progress so
we can set ourselves up for an amazing year next year. “We have to deliver, and you know I’m all over

Q: What did you learn about head coach Monty Williams?

Gores: “The same thing. He’s got the stomach for pain and takes real accountability for everything. He’s real open to listening to all kinds of things.”

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