Detroit Pistons president and coach Stan Van Gundy made his first major front office hire Monday, reaching an agreement with Jeff Bower to become general manager, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Bower will leave his job as the head coach at Marist College and rejoin the NBA, where he had most recently spent seven years as GM of the New Orleans Pelicans.
As Van Gundy concentrates on his coaching responsibilities, Bower will handle the day-to-day duties of the front office. He's well respected among front-office peers and player agents in the NBA, giving Van Gundy a strong complement as he makes his first move into combining management and coaching responsibilities.
Bower and Van Gundy have had a long relationship dating back to their early days as college basketball assistant coaches in the East.
Bower is expected to start immediately with Detroit, preparing for the draft and July free agency. The Pistons don't have a first-round pick, but they currently hold a second-round pick (No. 38 overall).
Bower was third in Executive of the Year voting in 2008, when New Orleans won 56 games and advanced to the Western Conference semifinals. In seven years as GM, the small-market franchise reached the playoffs four times. Bower played a part in drafting Chris Paul, David West and Darren Collison, as well as trading for Tyson Chandler.
After New Orleans let Bower go in 2011, he worked in scouting capacities for several teams before his hiring as the head coach at Marist College a year ago.
Marist could turn to well-regarded assistant Brian Adams, who had joined Bower's staff with the school after stops with the Boston Celtics and Harvard.