It was on Tuesday that Marc Stein of ESPN reported that the Detroit Pistons were close to having a new head coach and president of basketball operations and that person was Stan Van Gundy.
Now the Pistons have made it official, because according to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press, Stan Van Gundy reportedly signed a deal to become the Pistons Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations last night.
We don’t know the details of his contract but it was originally reported as five year contract estimated around $35 million dollars. Nonetheless, Van Gundy is now officially a part of the Pistons organization and according to Ellis of the Free Press an official announcement will come later today, and a news conference is planned for Thursday afternoon.
When it comes to the Pistons next general manger, on Tuesday it was reported that the Pistons could possibly be bringing in former Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith to hold that position with the Pistons. Now this news was reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports but the news didn’t come as a shock considering Otis Smith was Van Gundy’s general manager with Magic and when things got rough for Van Gundy, Smith remained loyal to Gundy and stood with him until the end.
As far as Smith is concerned, nothing has been announced yet but I wouldn’t rule out, so don’t be surprised if Smith joins general manager with Van Gundy when the official announcement is made on Thursday.
However, getting back to Van Gundy. I must say on paper, hiring Van Gundy as a coach, appears to be a solid move. At 54 years old, Van Gundy has a 64 percent winning percentage as a head coach during his time with Miami Heat (2003-05) and the Orlando Magic (2007-12). During his time as head coach of the Magic he helped to build up the team and helped them to reach the NBA Finals in 2009. There is also confidence that Van Gundy could help to develop future franchise big man, Andre Drummond, especially since Van Gundy coached and helped to develop Dwight Howard during his time with the Magic. Plus he is a defense oriented coach, who should be able to bring the defensive and physical mindset back to the Pistons. Mainly, what I like about Van Gundy, is the fact that he is a no non-sense type of coach, he doesn’t take disrespect lightly and he is all about discipline and respect which is something this young team needs in their next head coach.
The area to watch is his role as President of Basketball Operations. In that role, he has he power to trade and waive players, so it will be interesting to see who he decides to keep and let go of.
So for now, we know that Van Gundy is part of the Pistons organization but you can expect an official announcement today and a news conference on Thursday afternoon.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit