Is Stan Van Gundy a legitimate candidate to replace Lawrence Frank in Detroit? Right now, the evidence suggests not -- and that's without considering big brother Jeff Van Gundy's rant against the Pistons front office. According to Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel, SVG isn't enamored with any of the available jobs:
The Detroit Pistons, Cleveland Cavs and Philadelphia 76ers are looking for coaches -- three more possibilities for former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy. I'm told that Van Gundy has no interest in those openings at this time. More jobs could open after the playoffs end, however ...
That being said, Van Gundy is one of the most accomplished NBA coaches currently without a job -- and his success winning with a dominant big man and spare parts should be intriguing to Tom Gores and Joe Dumars. Regardless whether SVG ends up getting a phone call (let alone an interview), it'd be naive to think that Gores and Dumars haven't at least privately considered him.
While DBB readers have formed their own opinions of Van Gundy watching him from afar, I asked someone with an up-close view what he thought about the possibility of SVG coaching the Pistons. From Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post:
I think Stan Van Gundy would work out well with any team, regardless of the roster. He's probably best known for his work with the Magic, whom he guided to the Finals in 2009 and to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2010, and more specifically for having them shoot scads of three-pointers.
What I don't think he gets enough credit for his is player development and his defense. Van Gundy built elite defenses in Orlando around Dwight Howard and a bunch of weak-to-average individual defenders like Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis, and Hedo Türkoğlu. I think he could have a similar impact in Detroit with Andre Drummond, who has the physical tools to be every bit as brilliant defensively as Howard.
Van Gundy also gets the most, by and large, from his players. Nelson, Türkoğlu, Mickaël Piétrus, and Lamar Odom (in Miami) had the best years of their careers under Van Gundy. So did Courtney Lee, whose development has stalled after a standout rookie season in Orlando. I think one reason for Van Gundy's success in this area is that he holds players accountable. For example, if a guy blows a defensive assignment, Van Gundy will take him out. Guys can't skate by on talent alone: Van Gundy attempts to divest them of their bad habits, and only after they've done that will they earn a spot in his rotation.
A disciplinarian with a proven track record of winning and player development? I can get behind that. Now your thoughts.
Special thanks to Evan for answering my questions -- go read Orlando Pinstriped Post and follow him on Twitter.