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Spurs top assistant Mike Budenholzer in running for Pistons' head coaching job

San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Mike Budenholzer has emerged as a candidate for the Detroit Pistons' head coaching job, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Pistons president Joe Dumars traveled to San Antonio on Wednesday and spent several hours meeting with Budenholzer, the top assistant to Gregg Popovich.

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Detroit owner Tom Gores has since retained Phil Jackson to work as a consultant on the Pistons' search process and it's unclear how that, if it all, will impact the franchise's current pool of candidates.

The Pistons had a formal interview with Nate McMillan in Michigan earlier this week.

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Mike Budenholzer (USA Today Sports)

Detroit is expected to try and meet with Houston Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson in the near future too, sources said. Dumars met with Sampson two years ago about the vacancy.

Budenholzer had involvement with the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors in recent years, and league sources say he's grown more inclined to listen to overtures from around the league. He's considered one of the NBA's top assistant coaches, and could ultimately be Popovich's successor should he decide to stay until the Spurs' future Hall of Fame coach retires.

Budenholzer has been on Popovich's staff for 16 years, including the past five as his top assistant.

The Pistons are searching for a replacement for Lawrence Frank, who was fired at season's end in April.

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