The new deal adds an extra year onto his original five-year pact and will pay him through the 2023-24 season, Woj reports.
Contract extensions don’t necessarily guarantee anything in the crazy world of professional sports. It’s just money, after all. But it’s no surprise new GM Troy Weaver would work to reward Casey for a job well executed this season.
After being fired by the Toronto Raptors (and then winning coach of the year), Casey came to Detroit under the premise of guiding a veteran-laden roster to the next level and potential post-season success behind star Blake Griffin. Casey even made the playoffs in his first year as coach.
But ... yeah ... it didn’t exactly work out. Detroit was constrained by the salary cap because of some previous unwise investments, shedded longtime veterans like Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson around last year’s deadline, and shortly into this season bought out Griffin and traded Derrick Rose.
Casey never complained and seemingly bought in completely to the need to rebuild the Pistons roster around young players. He’s overseen the emergence of rookies Isaiah Stewart, Saddiq Bey and Killian Hayes, mentored Christian Wood as a reclamation project last season, and the investment in two-way players Frank Jackson and Saben Lee have borne some fruit this season.
He’s also seen his roster compete night-in, night-out and rarely ever lay an egg despite being routinely outmatched on the court. He’s also balancing the needs of veterans well and getting them to buy into a routine of rest and limited minutes as the Pistons go young (and lose plenty of games).
Casey is 64 years old so perhaps this extra year is being viewed as a potential cap to his head coaching career. Lord knows he has put in the work and could comfortably retire or move into a cushy front-office position. Casey made his debut on an NBA sideline as a 37-year-old assistant with the Seattle Supersonics in 1994. Ending in 2024 would mark 30 years as an NBA coach and 45 years as a professional coach stretching all the way back to his first year as an assistant at Kentucky in 1979.
Or, you know, he could be let go early as Detroit transitions from rebuild to potential competitive team behind a new voice. Casey will have that guaranteed money regardless. Get that money, coach Casey.