The Detroit Pistons want to make a leap into the postseason next year. They wanted to do that this season, but the early injury to Cade Cunningham ended that dream, and the focus shifted to developing young players like Jaden Ivey while making sure they had strong lottery odds for this season (they ended up with 17 wins and the worst record in the league).
Whoever takes over next as coach will walk in the door with the expectation he will get the team back on that postseason track.
That coach very likely will be one of three finalists: Kevin Ollie, Jarron Collins, or Charles Lee, something first reported by Omari Sankofa II at the Detroit Free Press last Friday and then confirmed on Monday by Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Sources: The Detroit Pistons, including owner Tom Gores, will hold meetings this week with the finalists for their open head coaching job:
– Former UConn and Overtime Elite coach Kevin Ollie
– Pelicans assistant Jarron Collins
– Bucks associate head coach Charles Lee
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 8, 2023
Ollie had a 13-year NBA career as a respected journeyman, who after his playing days coached UConn to a national championship in 2014 (the Shabazz Napier/DeAndre Daniels team) and currently is the head coach of Overtime Elite, where he has worked with expected top 10 picks Amen Thompson and Ausar Thompson.
Lee was the lead assistant for Mike Budenholzer with the Bucks last season and is considered a strong candidate to replace Budenholzer as coach in Milwaukee. Collins had a 10-year NBA playing career before joining Steve Kerr’s staff in Golden State, then last season he was an assistant coach with the Pelicans.
Add in a high lottery pick from this draft to Cunningham, Ivey, Jalen Duren, Isaiah Stewart, Saddiq Bey and a solid veteran in Bojan Bogdanovic and you have a team that might be playoff ready. That’s just more pressure on the next coach.