From ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
The Detroit Pistons are opening a search to hire a general manager to work with senior advisor Ed Stefanski, sources tell ESPN. Stefanski and Palace Sports Vice Chairman Arn Tellem will be leading the process, which will be underway soon. Story: https://t.co/xO2CDorIXg— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 26, 2020
Ed Stefanski using his quarantine time wisely, I see.
If you recall, Stefanski was hired in 2018, ostensibly to advise Tom Gores on the transition out of the Stan Van Gundy era. To Steve Hinson’s eternal chagrin, Stefanski looked around, decided that there was no one better equipped to do the job than he was, installed himself at the head of the Detroit Pistons’ basketball operations, and has been there ever since.
The report from Woj itself is pretty bare-bones, but has one interesting tell: The new GM “will work with” Stefanski, Dwane Casey and Palace Sports Vice Chairman Arn Tellem. Presumably, that means none of those guys are going anywhere. As was pointed out on Twitter, new general managers like to hire their own coaches, but if the new hire will be under Stefanski and Tellem, and those guys like Dwane Casey, it’s tough to see anything happening on that front.
Additionally, if the new general manager will be under Stefanski... that means Stefanski is still at the top of the organization:
Ed Stefanski will remain at the top of basketball operations for the Pistons, if they hire a GM, a source tells Yahoo Sports. Pistons have been quietly vetting candidates since before the league shutdown, according to sources. @wojespn first on official news of search— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) May 26, 2020
“Senior Advisor” has always been a nebulous title, and the lack of a formal general manager has led to caused a lot of confusion among people who don’t follow the Pistons closely. At least we’ll get that cleared up and I can stop getting asked who’s in charge of the Pistons when I appear on podcasts.
The report doesn’t list any candidates, however, one individual who immediately springs to mind is current Detroit Pistons Assistant General Manager Malik Rose. Rose ostensibly was rumored to the GM-In-Waiting under Stefanski, and is spoken of positively inside the Pistons and around the league.
As for other candidates, a good place to start would be the candidates the Chicago Bulls reportedly considered after hiring Arturas Karnisovas: Oklahoma City’s Troy Weaver, Denver’s Calvin Booth, Orlando’s Matt Lloyd and Philadelphia’s Marc Eversley. The Pistons are in the process of tearing things down under Stefanski, so you would hope that any new hire general manager is on board with that plan, and has the bulk of their experience in scouting and player development.
Stefanski has done some good (Christian Wood, Sekou Doumbouya), bad (two seconds for Khyri Thomas, multiple seconds for Deividas Sirvydis) and head-scratching (Thon Maker?? Jordan McRae??) things as Senior Advisor for the Detroit Pistons, but there is more good than bad on that ledger. At this time, it’s appropriate to be cautiously optimistic about who the Pistons will hire. But, uh, keep the AFI memes handy, just in case.