The Detroit Pistons made a massive swing prior to the trade deadline when they dealt Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, and a pair of draft picks for Blake Griffin in an effort to make a push to the playoffs. Instead, the Pistons treaded water and found themselves finishing ninth in the Eastern Conference.
There was much talk about the future of Stan Van Gundy both as coach and as president of basketball operations moving forward, but after their initial meetings the early indication was Van Gundy would remain on board as coach and in some capacity in the front office, although shakeups were going to come there. On Monday, plans changed as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Pistons and Van Gundy had parted ways, creating yet another coaching vacancy in the NBA.
The news was confirmed by Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post.
The Pistons made Van Gundy’s firing official shortly after, as owner Tom Gores pointed to the lack of progress made by the team and their inability to make the leap into postseason contention as the reason for Van Gundy being let go. Van Gundy, as noted in the team release, wanted to stay through next season for the final year of his contract.
It’s a fairly stunning development and it will be fascinating to see who takes on the challenge of taking over in Detroit both as coach and in the front office given their cap situation is not great following the addition of Griffin. The Pistons are capped out through 2020 and clearing any kind of cap space will be a tall order given the contracts of Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson.
Wojnarowski notes former NBA player and current Turner analyst Brent Barry is among the candidates that may get a shot at the now open front office job in Detroit.
Former agent and current Pistons vice chairman Arn Tellem is also expected to transition into some kind of front office role.