The Detroit Pistons have reached agreement with Lawrence Frank on a four-year contract to become their head coach, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The fourth season of Frank's contract is a team option that could become fully guaranteed based on incentives. Frank is expected to sign the contract early next week in Auburn Hills, Mich., where the team plans an introductory news conference.
Yahoo! Sports reported that Frank had been offered the Pistons job last week.
Frank has a clear understanding of the rebuilding process ahead of the Pistons, with the franchising shifting toward revamping its roster around the past two top draft picks, Greg Monroe(notes) and Brandon Knight(notes). Pistons president Joe Dumars and Frank have discussed extensively the charting of a course to reshape Detroit into a contender again.
Since his first interview in June, Frank had been the clear frontrunner in the minds of Dumars and new ownership. He beat out former Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Woodson for the job.
Frank has already started talking to possible assistant coaches and seeking permission to talk to assistants employed with other teams. Frank plans to bring Boston Celtics assistant Roy Rogers, and will consider the possibility of retaining his former assistant in New Jersey, Brian Hill, who is a holdover from John Kuester’s staff in Detroit.
Frank benefited from the recommendations of Philadelphia 76ers president Rod Thorn – his old boss with Nets – and Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers. Dumars holds both Thorn and Rivers in high regard.
Frank has privately thought that spending the past season under Rivers helped him further cultivate the dynamics of head coach-player relationships. This promises to be an important part of the Pistons' coaching job, especially after the breakdowns between Kuester and several players.
Frank had a successful run over six-plus seasons as the Nets’ coach until owner Bruce Ratner’s cost-cutting moves gutted the roster. Frank won two Atlantic Division titles and reached the playoffs in four seasons, including the Eastern Conference semifinals three times. He holds the NBA record for the best coaching start in history, winning his first 13 games after taking over for Byron Scott in the 2003-04 season.
The Pistons also interviewed Woodson, Kelvin Sampson, Bill Laimbeer and Patrick Ewing.