Pistons hire Stan Van Gundy as coach, president
The Detroit Pistons finalized a deal to make Stan Van Gundy their president of basketball operations and coach on Tuesday night, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
On Wednesday, the Pistons announced Van Gundy's hiring, and he will be introduced at a news conference Thursday.
The negotiations centered on a contract that will pay Van Gundy $35 million over five years and deliver him full autonomy to rebuild the franchise, league sources said.
Golden State officials met with Van Gundy on Monday in Florida and left convinced he was leaning strongly toward the offer of total control in Detroit. Golden State wasn't willing to make an allowance for Van Gundy to have final say on player personnel. The Warriors would make him one of the higher paid coaches in the NBA, but Detroit owner Tom Gores was willing to do "whatever it takes," one source said, to recruit Van Gundy.
Golden State had been willing to pay Van Gundy in the five-year, $25 million to $30 million range to coach, but officials ultimately don't believe money is the motivating factor for Van Gundy in his decision. The allure of personnel control and an ability to build his own organizational culture and roster pulled him toward Detroit.
Golden State's management group, including owner Joe Lacob, general manager Bob Myers and assistant GMs Kirk Lacob traveled to Oklahoma City on Tuesday and made a final push to convince Steve Kerr to coach the Warriors, sources told Yahoo Sports. Kerr is working Tuesday's night playoff game between the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder as an analyst for TNT.
Kerr still hasn't reached agreement with the New York Knicks, with the two sides still unable to come to terms on the length of a coaching contract, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Van Gundy will look closely at hiring former Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith to help lead Detroit's front office, sources told Yahoo Sports. Smith was GM when Van Gundy was coach in Orlando, and Van Gundy never forgot how Smith stood by him until the end there.
While Golden State holds several advantages over the Pistons – including the roster and preferred geography – the opportunity to run his own franchise is intriguing to Van Gundy, sources said.
Van Gundy, 54, has a .641 winning percentage as a head coach in stops with Miami and Orlando. He reached the NBA Finals with the Magic in 2009.
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