Posts Tagged ‘Detroit Pistons’

The Detroit Pistons have finally found their next head coach.

Detroit announced Monday that it’s officially hired Dwane Casey. The two sides agreed to a five-year contract, league sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Casey’s deal has an average annual value just above $7 million per season, reports the Detroit Free Press’ Vincent Ellis, citing a source. Additionally, sources told NBA.com’s David Aldridge that part of the sales pitch that landed Casey involved giving the longtime head coach autonomy to choose his assistant coaches.

The Kentucky-born basketball lifer replaces former coach and team president Stan Van Gundy, whom the Pistons parted with in May. In four seasons as the organization’s front- and back-end decision-maker, Van Gundy went 152-176 (.463); the Pistons were swept in the first round of the 2016 playoffs in their lone postseason appearance under Van Gundy.

Casey is coming off a seven-year stint as the head coach of the Toronto Raptors, stewarding the team to a franchise-best 320 wins and five playoffs appearances. But after back-to-back second-round sweeps at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Raptors elected to dismiss Casey. Toronto has yet to announce Casey’s successor at the time of his reported hiring by Detroit.

Prior to his time behind the Raptors’ bench, Casey helped set the defensive tone for the Dallas Mavericks‘ 2011 title-winning team as one of Rick Carlisle’s top assistants. Casey also coached the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2005-07.

Overall, the 61-year-old has amassed a head coaching record of 373-307 (.549) in the regular season and 21-30 (.412) in the playoffs.

The Pistons’ offseason overhaul is far from over, with more changes expected to come to the front office this summer. Longtime NBA executive Ed Stefanski, who was the Raptors’ vice president during Casey’s first two years with the team from 2011-13, was hired to help rebuild the front office. The Pistons have yet to install a full-time general manager ahead of the June 21 draft.

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The Detroit Pistons will likely consider San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon for their head coaching vacancy, according to Rod Beard of the Detroit News.

Detroit parted ways with Stan Van Gundy last week after he guided the organization to just one playoff appearance in four seasons. Van Gundy’s departure created absences in both coaching and basketball operations, neither of which have been filled.

Presumably, once the Pistons have found their next general manager, they will begin identifying coaching candidates.

Hammon played professionally in the WNBA and in Russia for 15 seasons and is widely considered one of the greatest players of all time. After tearing her ACL, she pivoted into a career in coaching and was hired by Spurs bench boss Gregg Popovich as the first full-time female assistant coach in 2014.

Hammon led the Spurs to a Las Vegas Summer League title in 2015 and has been lauded by center Pau Gasol and other notable players as a gifted head coach in waiting.

The Detroit Pistons want to shake up their front office, but they’d like their head coach to keep that role.

Pistons owner Tom Gores would prefer to strip president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy of control over the front office while still retaining him as head coach, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

According to Wojnarowski, Van Gundy has resisted Gore’s staff and player personnel suggestions in recent weeks, but the pair have been discussing ways to move forward. There’s just one season left on Van Gundy’s five-year deal, while the majority of his front office staff – including general manager Jeff Bower – don’t have contracts beyond this summer.

Some of the discussions between Gore and Van Gundy have apparently centered around Bower’s future role.

The Pistons have made the playoffs just once during Van Gundy’s four seasons at the helm. The front office made a desperate move for Blake Griffin at this season’s trade deadline, but the Pistons still finished with a record of 39-43, finishing ninth in the Eastern Conference.

Detroit also finds itself with limited flexibility moving forward, as the team will have more than $100 million in guaranteed salary commitments on its books until the summer of 2019.

It sounds like Blake Griffin is more than a little relieved to be out of the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Detroit Pistons landed Griffin in a blockbuster trade in January, putting an end to the power forward’s tenure in sunny L.A. after eight-and-a-half seasons. But while Griffin insists he hasn’t racked his brain over the reasons for the deal, in an interview with The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears, he did seemingly take a shot at his former employers.

“I haven’t put much thought into it, to be honest. I’ve been so focused on making this transition and (adjusting) to this change that I haven’t put that much thought into it,” Griffin said. “I never want to be in a place where I’m not wanted. Coming here made me realize what a franchise looks like.”

Griffin’s perceived grudge against the Clippers may be the result of the manner in which they enticed the 29-year-old to re-sign last summer, reportedly telling the superstar he would one day have his number retired with the team as they walked through an empty Staples Center.

To make matters worse, the team didn’t notify the forward of the trade themselves, leaving him to find out on social media.

“You always hear guys say that, ‘Basketball is a business,’ and all that. It’s so much different when you have had a relationship with a certain amount of people for so long and been at a place for so long,” he said. “Someone always promises you this is what we are doing and six months later …

“It shows people’s true colors. Other than that, at the end of the day, you have to realize it’s a business.”

The NBA’s evolution was supposedly a catalyst in the Los Angeles Clippers trading away their franchise player last month.

Los Angeles shocked its fans in January when it traded power forward Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons for Tobias HarrisAvery BradleyBoban Marjanovic, and a pair of draft picks (Willie Reed and Brice Johnson were also sent to Detroit).

Less than three weeks removed from the megadeal, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer says the desire to take a more balanced approach in line with today’s NBA prompted his team to deal the 28-year-old forward.

“(Griffin) is obviously a superstar player,” Ballmer said Saturday at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston, according to ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz. “But if you look at what happened injury-wise, if you look at the kind of chemistry we were getting on our team, the thing you can see at the high level with the numbers when I started – one guy got all the assists, one guy got all the points, and one guy got all the rebounds.

“It’s not all quite that way, but I think in the modern NBA, we were seeing it more and more – there’s a greater distribution of responsibility.”

Despite trading away a five-time All-Star and one of their best players, the Clippers never considered “tanking” the rest of the season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Instead, they hoped to remain competitive in the West while getting younger.

Ballmer all but confirmed that notion Saturday, adding that Los Angeles isn’t done transforming its roster.

“We have to add some pieces obviously, but I think we’re building for what I think is the modern NBA, and that trend has only accelerated since we signed Blake last summer.”

Blake Griffin just wants to be wanted.

The five-time All-Star was traded to the Detroit Pistons just seven months after committing to a five-year, $173-million deal with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Though he was initially shocked by the move, Griffin has come to terms with it and said he’s excited to play for a club that appreciates him.

“I want to play for an organization that wants me to play there. And clearly this was an organization that wanted me to play here,” he said at Wednesday’s introductory press conference.

“This is where I want to be. This is a place that wants me, and that’s the type of organization I want to play for.”

Griffin, 28, added he could’ve negotiated to include a no-trade clause in his megadeal last summer, but opted against it because he “wouldn’t want to be stuck in a place that wasn’t working.”

The former No. 1 overall pick spent nine years with the Clippers, averaging 21.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and a steal over 504 contests. Detroit acquired him, Brice Johnson, and Willie Reed in exchange for Tobias HarrisAvery BradleyBoban Marjanovic, a 2018 protected first-round pick, and a 2019 second-rounder.

It’s official: Blake Griffin will now call the Motor City home.

The Los Angeles Clippers traded Griffin, Brice Johnson, and Willie Reed to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Tobias HarrisAvery BradleyBoban Marjanovic, a 2018 protected first-round pick, and a 2019 second-round pick, the Clippers announced.

“Blake is one of the best players to ever wear a Clippers jersey. We want to express our gratitude and respect for everything he has done for this team and the City of Los Angeles. This was a very difficult decision, but we ultimately felt it was appropriate for the franchise,” Clippers president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank said in an official statement.

Griffin was taken first overall by the Clippers in 2009, and ends his tenure ranked second in franchise history in scoring, sixth in games, third in rebounds, and fifth in assists.

The five-time All-Star joins a Pistons squad that’s lost eight in a row and is four games below the .500 mark at 22-26, sitting ninth seed in the Eastern Conference.

“We are serious about winning, and this is a major move to improve our team,” Pistons owner Tom Gores said in a statement of his own. “Blake Griffin is one of the NBA’s elite players, and when you get an opportunity to add that kind of talent, you take it.”

Griffin is currently working under a new five-year contract worth approximately $173 million. He’s averaging 22.6 points, 7.9 boards, and 5.4 assists through 33 appearances this season.