Pistons candidates: Whom might Trajan Langdon’s No. 2 be with Troy Weaver out?

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Now that the first domino has fallen in Detroit, with Trajan Langdon tapped to be the Pistons’ new president of basketball operations, the trickle-down effect is quickly in full swing.

Team sources tell The Athletic that the Pistons and general manger Troy Weaver, who still has years left on his contract, are parting ways. The decision comes after, team sources say, owner Tom Gores gave Langdon free rein to hire and fire as he sees fit in order to build a basketball department that has full synergy from the top down, with money being no object.

Weaver was hired in 2020 to begin Detroit’s rebuild. The organization never won more than 23 games in a season since then and is coming off back-to-back campaigns with 17 wins or fewer. Detroit began a president of basketball operations search immediately after a 14-win season, the worst ever in franchise history, came to a conclusion in April.

Now, the question you probably have is this: Whom might Langdon target to be his No. 2?

Here are some names to keep an eye on.

Michael Blackstone

Currently an executive with the New Orleans Pelicans, where Langdon just left for Detroit, he is the favorite to be the No. 2 decision-maker the revamped front office under Langdon, sources tell The Athletic. Blackstone is the vice president of basketball administration in New Orleans and has been with the franchise for several seasons. He also served as an assistant general manager in Atlanta prior to joining the Pelicans in 2020.

Matt Lloyd

Lloyd is currently the senior vice president of basketball operations for the Timberwolves and was the first big hire of Tim Connelly in 20222 when he took over as president of basketball operations. Before that, Lloyd spent a decade in Orlando as an assistant general manager and vice president of basketball operations. He’s gotten praise in NBA circles for his player evaluations and making shrewd deals.

Travis Schlenk 

Schlenk, the vice president of player personnel for the Washington Wizards, is most known for his time with the Atlanta Hawks, where he worked from 2017 until 2022. With the Hawks, Schlenk built the team that got to the Eastern Conference finals in 2021 for only the second time in franchise history. He drafted Trae Young, John Collins, Kevin Huerter, De’Andre Hunter and Onyeka Okongwu. Before arriving in Atlanta, Schlenk gained recognition as a top decision-maker for the Golden State Warriors, where he worked for 13 years and served as assistant general manager for his final five years there. The Warriors became the Warriors while Schlenk held a prominent position, working alongside Bob Myers on a day-to-day basis. Schlenk is often credited for being the person to identity Draymond Green in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Brock Aller

Aller, the New York Knicks’ vice president of basketball and strategic planning, has been a rising front-office name in recent years. He’s widely known as a “cap guru” and has played a big part in turning the Knicks around with his cap expertise. Aller was the first hire of Knicks president Leon Rose when he took over in 2020. Before New York, Aller spent 15 seasons in Cleveland, where he was leaned on heavily by owner Dan Gilbert.

Tayshaun Prince

I’m sure this is everyone’s favorite name on this list. Prince, a starter on the Pistons’ 2004 title team, has been developing into a promising NBA executive behind the scenes. He’s been part of the Memphis Grizzlies’ organization since 2017, when Prince was named the special adviser to the general manager. In 2019, Memphis executive vice president of basketball operations Zachary Kleiman promoted Prince to vice president of basketball affairs.

(Photo of Prince: Kena Krutsinger / NBAE via Getty Images)

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