The Detroit Pistons hired Ed Stefanski as a senior advisor, and now the team can start the official rebuilding process on the sidelines and in the front office following the dismissal of Stan Van Gundy.
Stefanski reportedly wants to hire both a general manager and a head coach concurrently, and has identified former Toronto Raptors Dwane Casey head coach as a primary target, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Stefanski and the Pistons will immediately start a coaching search and plan to engage Casey immediately, league sources said. Stefanski was part of a Raptors front office, along with Bryan Colangelo, that hired Casey in 2011.
The team will also reportedly match Stefanski’s 20 years of front office experience and Casey’s 40 years of coaching experience, including nine as an NBA head coach, with a rising star in GM circles.
Wojnarowski writes that Trajan Langdon is one name to look out for. It has already been previously reported that Shane Battier has secured a second interview for a front office post.
Former player Brent Barry could secure a front office post in some capacity and as well as former Piston Tayshaun Prince, who spent a few years in Memphis and was ID’d then for a front office role once his playing career ended. He just finished his first season in Memphis as special assistant to GM Chris Wallace.
I previously wrote about my feelings on Casey as a possible head coach in Detroit -- I just don’t think it’s a good fit.
But Casey was a good head coach that was part of a great organization. What happens when you take a good head coach and put him into an absolute quagmire of an organization? You get Stan Van Gundy.
Make no mistake, Casey knows his stuff, and he has stellar credentials. Casey, however, was buoyed by working for rock solid organization in Toronto with a strong infrastructure that stretched from road scouts, to the end of the bench to the top of the executive suite.
Casey is a defense-first coach, and as we have written about endlessly on DBB, defense is not Detroit’s problem.
The Pistons will need to design a ... creative offense to maximize the potential of both Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. Van Gundy’s offenses always topped out at mediocre. Casey did eventually build a great offense in Toronto, but you’d have to hope that he learned all the lessons instilled up and down the organization that helped take them from the 29th offense in Casey’s first year to second this season.
There is also one other important factor -- Casey is one hell of a dresser, which we know is important to DBB.
As GQ wrote in 2014:
Dwane Casey is credited with masterminding the Raptors defense and bringing the young, talented roster to their current peak as one of the best in the east. It’s easy to see why the team would fall in line with his defensive scheme. The dude looks…serious. Drill sergeant serious. Though he suffers from a common ailment among NBA coaches, oversized-tie syndrome, his accessorization demands respect. Crisp pocket squares, french cuffs, horsebit loafers: he dresses with intention, but it never distracts from his singular goal, winning games.