Report: Pistons close to hiring Stan Van Gundy
The Detroit Pistons are aggressively pursuing Stan Van Gundy and could reach a deal to make him the team’s next coach at some point this week, according to multiple reports. The Golden State Warriors are already rumored to have serious interest in Van Gundy, who looks like he will be able to choose between the two jobs.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported on Tuesday that the Pistons have made a “lucrative offer” to Van Gundy that would give him full control of the team’s basketball operations department. Pistons owner Tom Gores is reportedly willing to do “whatever it takes” to bring Van Gundy in, which could include hiring Otis Smith as general manager.
Smith was the GM of the Orlando Magic when Van Gundy coached there, and the two are still friends. A previous report speculated that the Pistons could consider hiring Isiah Thomas as GM, though that seems very unlikely at this point.
If the Pistons do indeed hire Van Gundy, it could have a ripple effect on the other head coaching vacancies around the NBA. For starters, he is said to be Golden State’s top choice. If the Warriors miss out on Van Gundy, they’ll likely put on a full-court press for Steve Kerr. It has been widely assumed that Kerr will end up with Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks, but he lives in San Diego and has a daughter that attends college in California.
At the very least, the Pistons hiring Van Gundy could force the Knicks to give Kerr the five-year, $30 million deal he has reportedly been seeking. New York has been “close” to hiring Kerr for over a week, but the money seems to be an issue. Despite the fact that he has never been a head coach in the NBA, the demand for his services is very high.
Van Gundy should be a solid hire wherever he ends up. His ugly ending in Orlando — thanks in large part to Dwight Howard being a baby — has left him undervalued.