Reigning NBA Coach of the Year Dwane Casey agreed to a five-year deal to become coach of the Detroit Pistons on Monday.
“Dwane is one of the most successful and highly respected coaches in our league,” Pistons Owner Tom Gores said in a statement. “He’s a great communicator and a leader who will connect with our players and accelerate their growth. Having spent many hours with Dwane over the last few weeks, I’m confident he is the right person to get us to the next level. In our meetings he displayed great insight into what this roster can accomplish, and great passion about our city and the team’s role in bringing people together. He’s an outstanding man with impressive character. He embodies our culture and will be a great representative for our franchise.”
Casey, who was fired by the Toronto Raptors after a second-round playoff loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers last month, was selected from a coaching pool that also included Michigan head coach John Beilein.
The Pistons will reportedly pay Casey $7 million per season and relented on control of the assistant coaching staff, giving Casey autonomy to hire his own lieutenants, ESPN reported. Adrian Wojnarowski reported Casey had decided not to take the job but with assurances ownership would be patient during a roster rebuild and freedom to select his own coaching staff, Casey got on board.
“I’m confident that this team has the pieces in place to compete at a very high level,” Casey said. “There is a lot of talent, a solid core and some exciting young players eager to get better. We’re getting to work right away on the things that will make us all successful.”
The Pistons parted ways with general manager Jeff Bower in addition to coach Stan Van Gundy. The search for a new coach and a new GM was left primarily to Ed Stefanski, who was hired at the end of the season as a senior adviser to owner Tom Gores.
Van Gundy was head coach and president of basketball operations. The Pistons have recorded just one winning season in the past 10 years.
The club also interviewed former Milwaukee Bucks coach and NBA great Jason Kidd, Miami Heat assistant Juwan Howard — a former Fab Five star at Michigan — and TNT analyst Kenny Smith.
—Field Level Media