The Pistons are in the midst of a major overhaul, looking to hire a president of basketball operations and head coach. The scuttlebutt is the Pistons intend to first hire a president of basketball operations, allegedly someone who was a former player, and then a head coach. Among the suspects who have surfaced on the rumor mill for the former position are ex-Pistons star guard Chauncey Billups, NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Kiki VandeWeghe, Denver general manager Arturas Karnishovas and Memphis vice president of player personnel Ed Stefanski.
Becky Hammon, 41, is on the Pistons’ radar as they look to fill their coaching vacancy after parting ways with Stan Van Gundy last week. Hammon last week reportedly interviewed with the Milwaukee Bucks, who reached an agreement to hire Mike Budenholzer as their next coach Wednesday.
Hammon is an intriguing candidate — and not for public-relations purposes. The NBA is a copycat league and if she brings the same principles to the table, she could be the change that a fair-to-middling franchise needs to turn things around. “She is an interesting — and by all accounts, qualified — candidate,” a league source who declined to comment on specific coaching searches told The Detroit News. “She’s a legitimate candidate for a head-coaching job, alongside several other rising assistant coaches in the league.”
Another coaching candidate could be former Piston Jerry Stackhouse, who was an assistant with the Raptors and head coach of their development league team. Stackhouse, 43, won coach of the year and took the Raptors to the championship game.
Diamond Leung: Liberty's Isiah Thomas on Pistons having job openings: "Am I interested in Detroit? One hundred percent. And anything the Pistons ask of me or want me to do, I would listen. But I am definitely interested and would want to listen to what they have to say."
Rod Beard: Interesting nugget: SVG tells me: "When it came down to this, I was perfectly willing to only go in one role and to give up the front office and go into (just) coaching. I didn’t fight to hang on to that at all. I was more than willing to just move over into the (coaching) role."
Vincent Ellis: Very preliminary, but David Griffin as GM and Jerry Stackhouse and Mike Budenholzer for coach are potential names to look at with the #Pistons.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: One candidate expected to be strongly considered for a role in a revamped Pistons front office -- Brent Barry.
Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy have set a meeting for next week to discuss Van Gundy's future with the franchise, league sources told ESPN. The two had initially planned to sit down late this week, but the meeting was pushed back, leaving the Pistons organization to await word on how, if at all, the franchise's structure could be altered.
Most of Van Gundy's front-office staff, including general manager Jeff Bower, are in the final year of their contracts and are operating without clarity on whether they'll be employed beyond the spring.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores and President/Coach Stan Van Gundy will meet next week to discuss Van Gundy's future, league sources tell ESPN. Van Gundy has one year left on his contract. There had been an initial plan to meet late this week.
Rod Beard: #Pistons Gores on SVG's future: "We talked the other day and I’m not giving up on Stan and I’m not giving up on this team. "Stan and I discussed (next year) and we said we’re not going to talk about it until after this season."
Rod Beard: #Pistons Gores on potential changes to be made: "We always have to adjust. We’re not winning so we have to adjust something. Clearly, we can’t be stubborn; we have to make adjustments but I don’t think we’re that far off."
November 24, 2020 | 12:38 pm EST Update
The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they have re-signed free agent guard Fred VanVleet to a multi-year contract. Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. “In the last four years, we’ve seen Fred move from leader of Raptors 905, to leader of the Bench Mob to a leader of a championship team. The constant has been his leadership, no matter his role,” Raptors president Masai Ujiri said. “We look forward to the coming years with Fred as one of the voices and hearts of our team. We bet on Fred.”
Josh Lewenberg: VanVleet said he met and spent some time with Malachi Flynn in Vegas during the pre-draft process. He’s looking forward to playing with/mentoring the Raps rookie, “I like his game a lot. I think the way he plays, being able to learn under me and Kyle will be beneficial for him.”
Josh Lewenberg: VanVleet, after thanking the Raptors organization, his coaches, teammates and family: “I wanna give thanks to you ugly media people who have treated me pretty good over the last 4 years. Now that I’ve got a nice big contract don’t start s***ing on me.”
The Milwaukee Bucks have re-signed guard Pat Connaughton. Entering his sixth season in the NBA, Connaughton appeared in 67 games (4 starts) with the Bucks last season and averaged 5.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 18.6 minutes per game. Originally signed by Milwaukee prior to the 2018-19 season, Connaughton is averaging 6.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists over 128 games as a Buck while shooting 46.1% from the field the last two seasons.
Last week, the NBA had one of the busiest weeks in league history—with the draft and free agency just two days apart. “That was one of the craziest weeks ever,” Charania says. “Everything goes up, but that is by nature. The conversations and the people you communicate with, those are the same, but the volume of dialogue slightly increases. “On a normal basis,” he continues, “it might be more sporadic and the topics are more different than around free agency and the draft because these are things that are imminently happening.”
When speaking to people around the NBA about Shams, another common theme is that he doesn’t have any hidden agendas. “Shams called me out of the blue one day, asking about a player I represented and his free-agent destination,” one NBA agent tells SLAM. “At first, I was hesitant because I had no prior relationship with him, but the way he approached the situation was nothing short of professional. He ended up breaking my player’s signing. “I trust him because there are no hidden agendas. He’s just trying to break the story; he’s not worried about doing favors. He’s genuine and straightforward with his approach, which is rare in this business.”
David Maas was a magician, TV and YouTube star and, with his wife, the centerpiece of halftime entertainment in basketball arenas all over the country. Maas died on Sunday at the age of 57. According to the New York Times, Maas performed in all 30 NBA arenas, 15 WNBA arenas and at least 76 universities. He also performed at the Big Ten basketball tournament and the Final Four. Maas and his wife, Dania, were famous for the “Quick Change” act where they would perform dances and routines in one costume, then be covered by a tarp, sheet or box and emerge in another costume. In 2014, Sporting News ranked it as the best halftime show in basketball.