Report: Dumars to stay with Pistons as adviser, GM succession plan taking shape

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Ken Catanella and George David to run basketball operations while team conducts GM search.

Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press dropped a minor bombshell Sunday, with a report about how the Detroit Pistons plan to remake their front office and eventually their team.

Ellis reports that longtime President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars is out. But not really. Dumars is set to stay within the organization as an executive adviser but not retain his basketball decisionmaking authority.

This contradicts  a report from April 8 from Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News that indicated that Dumars was on his way out of the organization, possibly within a week.

Ellis also is reporting that while Dumars stays within the only organization he has ever known, basketball operations will be run by George David and Ken Cantanella through the NBA Draft and free agency period while ownership looks for a long-term replacement for Dumars.

The NBA Draft is scheduled for June 26 while the free agency period begins in early July.

David has been with the organization for more than 15 years and currently serves as the assistant general manager. Cantanella, meanwhile, joined the organization in 2011 and serves as the team's salary cap specialist and heads the team's analytics efforts.

While the move to replace Dumars has been expected since owner Tom Gores fired Maurice Cheeks in February, it's interesting that the team is already getting out front and saying they are prepared to conduct a search up to and including the NBA free agency period.

The assumption had been that the team would act fast to hire a new GM shortly after the season and using the last couple months of the season to put together a roster of candidates.

If the team doesn't hire a permanent replacement before the draft and free agency, it would mean the team would be less likely to make any significant moves -- trading Josh Smith or Brandon Jennings, or moving on from Greg Monroe. If anything, the Pistons will probably be more likely to re-sign Monroe and let the new GM worry about whether to keep him or trade him going forward.

Goodwill is also reporting that Dumars will be free to look for a position in another organization if he wants. It has been reported that Michigan native and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is interested in hiring Dumars to fill his vacant GM position.

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