But teams need quality veterans to compete, evidenced by the Phoenix Suns, who went from three straight years at the bottom to one of the best teams in the NBA after adding Chris Paul.
The Suns, like the Pistons now, were long the butt everyone’s jokes. The Suns found their star in the draft, added some young talent around him and then got the veteran to push them to the next level.
With the right moves in the NBA Draft and free agency, the Detroit Pistons could find the same success the Suns did. Starting with getting the right veteran leader. The Pistons need more veterans anyway, but if they end up trading Grant, that need will grow.
Detroit Pistons: The importance of having a veteran leader
The importance of a seasoned NBA player on the roster cannot be overstated. The impact goes far beyond the box score. For starters, they hold younger players accountable, they often hold team meetings, and make sure everything that should be done is accomplished.
Vets are also usually past the point where they need to get a “feel” for the game, or an understanding of the league. Things have already clicked and they are ready to lead. Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey and the mystery draft pick are all young pups with a lot to learn. There’s no better teacher than experience, and who better to look up to then the man sitting beside you or dribbling down the court next to you.
Troy Weaver knows a balanced roster is important
While Troy Weaver understands the importance of youth and building through the draft, he’s old enough to have seen the “old NBA” when teams weren’t routinely comprised of guys who were all in their early 20’s as some teams are now.
He also knows the benefit of having a balanced roster age-wise:
“You need really good players that are really good people to help lead these young guys. You can’t have a team of 15 guys under 24 years old. They’ll eat each other and all of them won’t make it out.”
It takes a mix of talent, personalities and experience to win in the NBA, and if the Detroit Pistons want to take the next step as a franchise, they need more veteran talent to balance out their roster.
This will be especially true if the Pistons end up trading Jerami Grant, as he is one of their only impact veterans. The player doesn’t have to be a star, but someone who actually plays a valuable role on and off the court.
The right veterans complement the young stars, as we’ve seen with Marcus Smart and Al Horford with Jayson Tatum in Boston, or Chris Paul with Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. If the Pistons trade Grant, they’ll need to find a veteran leader to replace him or risk taking a big step back.