The Detroit Pistons continue to round out their front office staff with the hiring of Gregg Polinsky as the director of player personnel. Polinsky spent 10 years in the same role with the Brooklyn Nets and the 10 years before that as a chief scout for the Nets.
His time with the Nets overlapped with several regimes, including that of Ed Stefasnski, Detroit’s de-facto general manager, who is in charge of building the Pistons’ front office from the ground up following the dismissal of Stan Van Gundy.
While Polinsky worked for the Nets, he was actually based out of his home in Birmingham, Alabama (which probably makes Vince Ellis happy). Since his job was as the lead college scout for the organization and coordinating with other scouts that meant a lot of time on the road.
Nets Daily flagged a radio interview with Polinsky where he went into detail about the Nets’ scouting process.
“Conservatively, I’d say we start with a baseline of about 600 guys every year,” he noted to Sanderson. “It’s a process of elimination. I compare it to those old guys who pan for gold. You get on the bank and you dip your pan in and you shake it around. A lot of times there’s nothing in there, but every once in a while, you pull out one nugget.”
From there, the Nets look at video of a smaller group.
“We’ve probably looked at 75 players already through video study with our group throughout the year and we’re doing a different study now to make sure that we are thorough and then still hope that we get it right,” Polinsky told Griffin.
“So it’s a measure of the background you’ve done on players. It’s a measure of the video study you’ve done on players. If you’re waiting till now —” he noted, laughing.
Polinsky received a ringing endorsement from another one of his former bosses — former Nets assistant GM and current ESPN writer/pundit Bobby Marks.
One of the best in the business. Great hire for the Pistons. https://t.co/QEma3weTTR— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) July 5, 2018
Looking at the Nets draft history, I can’t say that I’d bathe his tenure in glory - but he’s a piece of a large puzzle. Since 2004, the team’s best second-round pick who actually suited up for them was probably .... Chris Douglas-Roberts?
They’ve also had plenty of first-round misses — Antoine Wright, Marcus Williams, Terrence Williams.
It also seems, per the aforementioned Ellis, that some people from the Van Gundy days will be retained. Pat Garrity and Andrew Loomis are with the team in Las Vegas as it prepares for Summer League.
Garrity is a former player under Van Gundy who got an MBA from Duke University and spent some time in high finance after his NBA career ended. He was eventually promoted to assistant general manager under Van Gundy and even interviewed for the head front office positions in Milwaukee and Atlanta at this time last year.
Loomis was most recently Detroit’s chief of staff and before that was executive director of basketball operations — mostly focused on managing and coordinating with the fledgling Grand Rapids Drive of the G League. Prior to getting poached by Van Gundy he spent 3.5 years working with Golden State and it’s G League affiliate the Santa Cruz Warriors.