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Adrian Wojnarowski: Amid a regime change, Detroit and GM Jeff Bower have parted ways, league sources tell ESPN. Bower has been a GM for two playoff franchises, as well an an NBA and NCAA head coach.
Zach Lowe: Note on Pistons continuing front-office search: Shane Battier has withdrawn from consideration for a leading front-office role in Detroit, sources tell ESPN. Rod Beard: #Nets Trajan Langdon is still the name to watch here.
Zach Lowe: Note on Pistons continuing front-office search: Shane Battier has withdrawn from consideration for a leading front-office role in Detroit, sources tell ESPN.
With the hiring of Ed Stefanski to a senior executive role, the rumor mill is focused on Tayshaun Prince, who has spent one season working alongside Stefanski with the Memphis Grizzlies. Stefanski said he hadn’t yet spoken with Prince about a role with the Pistons, but a source with firsthand knowledge of the situation told the Free Press that Prince is under consideration for a spot in the front office. Such news isn’t surprising to one of Prince’s former teammates. “Tayshaun is one of those guys that’s flying under the radar, but his basketball I.Q. is incredibly high,” former Pistons defensive stalwart Ben Wallace told the Free Press on Thursday. “He’s been in the business for a year or so; it definitely shows he’s willing to take the job seriously. He’s proven he can do it.”
Rod Beard: Keep an eye on Trajan Langdon as the potential #Pistons general manager. Shane Battier is also a possibility but with Stefanski in place, they could choose to go with a younger, less-experienced GM who could grow into a bigger role.
Television analyst Brent Barry, a 14-year NBA veteran and two-time champion, is a front-runner to land in a complementary role in the Pistons' front office. Popular ex-Pistons player Tayshaun Prince -- who is completing his first year in the Memphis front office -- will also be a strong candidate to join Stefanski in Detroit, league sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Detroit Pistons have hired Grizzlies executive Ed Stefanski as a senior advisor responsible for overhauling the franchise’s basketball operations, league sources told ESPN. Stefanski will assess the current front office, and oversee the process of hiring a GM and coach.
Stefanski, who will report to owner Tom Gores, has a three-year contract and will be tasked with overseeing the assemblage of a new Detroit front office and coordinating a head-coaching search in Detroit's post-Stan Van Gundy era.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Ed Stefanski tells ESPN on priority with Pistons: "The big thing right now ... is that we need a head coach and a GM. Those will be two items that we will probably do simultaneously.” Stefanski will meet with current GM Jeff Bower and discuss possible role. They have long history
The Pistons' new front office, centered on Stefanski, will look closely at hiring a rising front-office executive in a general-manager-type role, league sources said. Brooklyn Nets assistant general manager Trajan Langdon met with Detroit officials to discuss such a high-level role and will remain a serious candidate, league sources said.
Vincent Ellis: Also, it's highly likely Dwane Casey will be a candidate for the coaching opening ... as soon as they fill the president of basketball ops post. Time frame for president spot? Sometime around the first week of June.
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."
Jeff Bower will continue to operate as the GM, league sources said. He is expected to lead Detroit's contingent at the draft combine in Chicago next week and oversee the team's individual draft workouts and draft planning. The rest of the front-office staff is expected to continue, too -- until further notice. Most of Detroit's front-office contracts expire this summer.
As president of basketball operations and coach, Van Gundy had full authority on player personnel and staffing, but Gores had suggested changes -- including ones related to general manager Jeff Bower -- that Van Gundy resisted, sources said.
Gores and chairman Arn Tellem are expected to try to hire an experienced league executive to oversee the front office. Tellem, a longtime agent in the NBA, will not become the president of basketball operations or general manager, but he could have an expanded role beyond the business side, sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: It is unlikely that a potential Detroit-Barry partnership would be for the role of President of Basketball Operations, league sources tell ESPN. Tom Gores and Arn Tellem are expected to pursue an experienced front office executive to run basketball operations. twitter.com/ZachLowe_NBA/s…
Vincent Goodwill: One intriguing name to watch for the Pistons, with strong ties to Arn Tellem: BJ Armstrong. Detroit native. Front office experience with the Bulls
The Detroit Pistons have parted ways with president of basketball operations and coach Stan Van Gundy, league sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Van Gundy had one year and $7 million remaining on his original five-year deal.
After four seasons with only one playoff appearance under Van Gundy, it’s apparent that [Pistons owner Tom] Gores is seeking change. “We got to make some changes,” Gores said toward the end of the season. “I’m just not sure what they are and he’s been working the whole season so I need to hear from Stan. I can tell you he’s an extremely dedicated man so I think he’s been good for our franchise. “That I know for sure.” Discussions are very amicable, but those changes have yet to be determined, two sources told the Free Press this week.
A source also told the Free Press that Gores and Van Gundy would speak Friday, although a resolution isn’t expected until next week. The report said that Van Gundy is “resistant” to changes, but multiple sources told the Free Press that’s a mischaracterization since specific changes have yet to be discussed.
An ESPN.com report earlier this week, citing unnamed sources, said Gores wants Van Gundy to return as coach, but wants changes to the front office structure. The report hinted at change centered around general manager Jeff Bower. The report also said Bower would meet with Gores. The Free Press confirmed that meeting took place Thursday in Los Angeles. A source also told the Free Press that Gores and Van Gundy would speak Friday, although a resolution isn’t expected until next week.
He is open when it comes to his ambition to run a franchise; he just won’t seek to dig another man’s grave. “I think that was in bad taste,” Billups said after signing autographs and posing for photos. “Everybody knows that I have the desire to run a team at some point, but I would never discuss or talk about a job that’s not open. That’s not my character. “That’s not how I am, so I was a little angry about the report that came out. The timing of it was bad. It was false.”
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.
Gores isn't necessarily against allowing Van Gundy to lead both the front office and the bench. "I see value in the front office and the court being connected," he said.
"I wouldn't make a decision without Stan," Gores said at halftime of Monday night's 108-98 loss to the Toronto Raptors. "He's been our partner for four years." Gores said changes need to be made because the team isn't winning enough, adding none will happen until he speaks with Van Gundy. The two are expected to meet next week. "I think he deserves the conversation," Gore said. "He's been good for us."
Rod Beard: #Pistons Gores on what he needs to see from SVG: "We have to make some changes. I’m just not sure what they are."
Rod Beard: #Pistons owner Tom Gores addressed the media at halftime. No immediate sense of whether SVG stays or goes.
The Pistons have missed the playoffs in three of Van Gundy's four seasons as coach and president of basketball operations. He has one year remaining on his contract and there has been speculation that Gores will have vice chairman Arn Tellem take over the personnel role and ask Van Gundy to focus solely on coaching. Then it would become Van Gundy's decision whether to remain with the organization.
Stan Van Gundy heard the reports on Tuesday. And he wanted everyone to know: They "don't mean a damn thing." Van Gundy, the Detroit Pistons' president and head coach, spoke with reporters on Tuesday, the same day Marc Stein of the New York Times reported the franchise was interested in bringing in former star Chauncey Billups to work with team vice chairman Arn Tellem in a "revamped front office."
James Edwards III: Stan Van Gundy on today’s rumor [about Chauncey Billups potentially joining the Pistons front office]: “The only thing I care about is losing. ... that’s the only thing that keeps me up at night. Tom will make a decision.”
Where all this would leave Van Gundy, though, remains to be seen. Would Van Gundy, as he nears the end of the fourth season in his original five-year, $35 million deal, be willing to stay with the Pistons in a coaching-only role if his decision-making power is handed to Tellem or Billups or both? Will Van Gundy even have that option? The most recent signals coming from both Van Gundy and the Detroit owner Tom Gores would suggest that a mutual parting at season’s end is a growing possibility.
Marc J. Spears: “I’m very happy with the on-air opportunities ESPN has given me to talk about the NBA in the studio & at games. Of course, I love my Pistons & Detroit. But I would never push for a job with any NBA franchise that is not open. That’s not part of my character,” - Chauncey Billups.
Nate Duncan: What do you make of recent comments by [Pistons owner] Tom Gores' about Stan Van Gundy [being] a team player, and that they're evaluating things? Marc Stein: Everyone in the league is sort of looking at Detroit and saying, 'How broad will the change be'? They're gonna miss the playoffs, the Blake Griffin gamble, to this point, has not worked. You have to assume that at the least, Stan Van Gundy will lose his front-office power. I think I reported about a month ago that the rumblings are out there that Arn Tellem, the long-time power agent who's been running the business side with Detroit for the last two or three years, that he would take over the basketball side of things. Those rumblings are even louder now.
Tom Gores has a big decision to make. Apparently, so might Stan Van Gundy. That was the logical conclusion from the owner’s rare public comments at Little Caesars Arena Friday night. If you sift through the ambiguity, Gores is considering a change after the season, as the Pistons meander to the finish. With a polite — and purposeful — non-committal on Van Gundy’s future, Gores might have begun the process of parting ways. With the Pistons likely to miss the playoffs for the third time in four seasons, it’s not a surprise.
Would Gores outright fire Van Gundy? I’m not sure it’ll come to that. When the two meet, my guess is, it’ll be amicable, and might end up being mutual. Gores could remove one of Van Gundy’s dual roles — president of basketball operations — and perhaps give him the last season of his contract solely to coach. At 58, Van Gundy might prefer to walk away than accept a new arrangement. “It’s about what happened this year, what we’re gonna do, our future,” Gores said. “Stan’s a team player. We’re not winning enough, so we have to talk about that.”
Van Gundy did a good job early here, completely remaking a woeful team, with Andre Drummond the only inherited player remaining. But amid curious moves, shifting directions and key injuries, it has stalled. “I think Tom and I are totally on the same page,” Van Gundy said. “Our team’s playing hard, I like the guys we’ve had, some things have happened out of our control. But I’m not looking to make excuses. This business is about winning games, and we haven’t been doing enough of that. … I’ve been through this several times, but never this upfront and direct, and never with this kind of relationship with an owner. I have total respect for Tom. I love the way I’ve been treated here, but I also understand and respect Tom has to do what he thinks is best for the franchise.”
But might Van Gundy also have a decision to make, if Gores removes the president’s role (and full personnel control) but offers to keep him as coach? It has been reported in NBA circles that Gores could elevate Arn Tellem, his vice chairman since 2015, to head of basketball operations. “Yeah, I guess I have a decision to make too, you always do,” Van Gundy said. “It’s a two-way thing, but it’s really him first.”
Stan Van Gundy is expected to at least lose his role as team president in Detroit, if not also his coaching duties, with Pistons exec Arn Tellem waiting in the wings to take over the basketball operations. Tellem, one of pro sports’ top agents for the better part of 25 years, has been Pistons VP and owner Tom Gores’ right-hand man since 2015. Speculation is that Van Gundy will need to make the playoffs to keep his coaching job.
While former Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is prominent in chatter about the Charlotte Hornets’ front office opening, he won’t be the only candidate. Another established name with interest is Detroit Pistons general manager Jeff Bower.
Bower is No. 2 in the Pistons’ front office, working for Stan Van Gundy, who runs the basketball operation as coach and team president. According to a source familiar with the situation, Bower and Van Gundy are both under contract with the Pistons through the end of this season. That same source said Bower, 56, would definitely be interested in the Hornets’ opening. Bower worked in Charlotte previously, in the original Hornets’ front office.
If [Blake Griffin] been a free agent in 2017 and it would have cost the Pistons Harris and Bradley to sign him, no one would have thought twice about it. He’s a superstar, and the Pistons, as much as they try to promote All-Star Andre Drummond, don’t have one. “We’re serious about winning and we’re not afraid to make a bold move and seize the opportunity,” Gores said via e-mail Sunday night. “Chances like this don’t come along very often. The move is not without risk and we gave up a lot to get him. We know that basketball is a game full of risk, but it was really clear that he is worth it.”
People throughout the league had indicated just after the New Year that the Clippers were making Blake Griffin available in potential trade scenarios. But this specific deal didn’t come to fruition until near the end of the month. And Gores didn’t hesitate when the proposed deal was put on his table. “Don’t really want to get into internal discussions,” Stan Van Gundy said, “but it didn’t take much selling. Tom was all for it.” Said Tom Gores: “I was involved from the beginning of the discussions. Once we realized this was a real deal, that it was a real opportunity, I told our guys we should get it done. Keep our young guys, keep some flexibility, but get it done.”
Marc Stein: Before the Blake Griffin trade, the buzziest thing that was coming out of Detroit, and I've heard this from multiple rival teams in the last couple of weeks, there seems to be an anticipation that Arn Tellem, who, of course, is one of the most successful agents in this league's history, and has been running the Pistons business side for two-plus years now, there is a lot of chatter that, don't be surprised if Arn Tellem ends up running the Pistons basketball operations in the near future.
Not that Van Gundy is likely to be terribly concerned about the down-the-road financial implications of this trade for the Pistons should the Griffin/Drummond tag team fail to flourish. The deal comes with Van Gundy running out of time to deliver some certifiable progress in the fourth season of a lucrative five-year deal to serve as Detroit’s coach and team president. It also comes at a time when rival team executives have been buzzing about the prospect of longtime player agent Arn Tellem, who has been heading up the Pistons’ business side as vice chairman of Palace Sports & Entertainment since June 2015, succeeding Van Gundy as the head of Detroit’s basketball operations.
Tobias Harris: Detroit, From the day I got here it’s been nothing but love. I want to thank every last one of you for the amazing support, the hospitality, the snow, The games at the Palace and Little Caesar’s, the cheers, the boos, hearing y’all scream DETROIT, followed by BASKETBALL!! It’s been amazing. Gods path leads you in many directions, I’m excited to start the next chapter. Want to give a true thank you to my teammates it’s been a blessing to work with you everyday. Want to thank Tom Gores and Coach Van Gundy, true professionals and first class men. Blessings to you Detroit. Thank you🙏🏽🙏🏽

https://www.instagram.com/p/BejnnW6AFfC/
Owner Tom Gores said he still has faith in Van Gundy, who signed a five-year deal in 2014. "Do I believe in Stan? Absolutely," Gores said Wednesday during a news conference prior to the season-opening 102-90 victory over the Charlotte Hornets at Little Caesars Arena.
"Do I feel good about the model? I feel good about the model," Gores said. "Stan has a lot of support around him, whether it's (general manager) Jeff Bower, and then he has support that probably (media) don't even know about. He has a lot of support. So, I believe in the model. We're seeing this through, absolutely."
Gores said his goal for the team is to be competitive and return to the playoffs. "My consultants told me not to say we have any expectations, but truth is we do," Gores said. "We have to be competitive. That's what Stan wants. Of course, we want to get into the playoffs. If there's a moment I sit up here and tell you we're not, I think you should fire me."
Just as Van Gundy had the word of Pistons owner Tom Gores that it was OK to wade into luxury tax territory to retain Caldwell-Pope, he expects the same marching orders next summer to keep Bradley. “In the right situation for the right people, Tom’s more than willing to pay the tax,” Van Gundy said. “I think about half the league’s going to be paying the tax this year. Tom’s not opposed to that.”
It’s also not a fait accompli that the Pistons will need to cross that threshold to retain Bradley. Van Gundy, general manager Jeff Bower and associate GM Pat Garrity, the organization’s point man on cap issues, have game planned for multiple scenarios with regard to the cap and roster for next summer. “We’ve got other strategies,” Van Gundy said. “The finances will not inhibit our ability to re-sign Avery at whatever it takes. If we’re in a situation where we want Avery back and Avery wants to be here, we’ll be able to bring him back.”
As assistant general manager Justin Zanik is preparing the franchise for the NBA draft, the Milwaukee Bucks continue to reach out to potential general manager candidates and plan to begin formal interviews on Monday, league sources told The Vertical. The Bucks were granted permission to speak with several more GM candidates late this week, including Portland Trail Blazers assistant GM Bill Branch, Miami Heat assistant GM Adam Simon and Detroit Pistons assistant GM Pat Garrity, league sources told The Vertical.
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October 24, 2020 | 6:02 am EDT Update

NBA withholding 40 percent of player salaries in escrow?

Marks: The players. Agents are bracing for the possibility of up to 40% of the escrow being withheld from players, sources told ESPN. That money would offset losses incurred with a lack of revenue coming in from home games. And from a health standpoint, 22 teams just endured a grueling stretch of basketball, both physically and mentally. I would think that players who finished the playoffs in September or October will not be happy that training camp is now weeks instead of months away.
NBA on ESPN: John Wall working out with Nets players Kyrie Irving, Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie and DeAndre Jordan (via graydientvisuals/Instagram, klutchsports/Instagram)

Knicks targeting Yoeli Childs in second round?

One name to keep an eye on with the Knicks in the second round? BYU power forward/center Yoeli Childs. The Knicks interviewed Childs recently, per SNY sources, and those sources said Childs has been making a strong impression during interviews with teams who have picks in the early/mid second round. The Knicks have the 38th pick in the second round. The club has interviewed dozens of players, so the fact that they interviewed Childs shouldn’t be blown out of proportion. But it does confirm that the club has a level of interest in the 6-8, 255-pound big man.

Hakeem Olajuwon: Jordan far superior player than LeBron

Former Houston Rockets star Hakeem told CNBC that it’s always been Jordan for him, and apparently, his opinion won’t change when it comes to this debate on who is the most superior player he ever faced. “When people start comparing him with Jordan, then that’s not a fair comparison. Jordan was a far more superior player in a very tough league, and he was very creative. That’s not taking away anything from LeBron because he is a great player, but it is not a fair comparison because Jordan is a far superior player.” Hakeem Olajuwon, via CNBC
This rumor is part of a storyline: 188 more rumors
RW: Do you think the title with the Lakers puts LeBron over the top in the G.O.A.T. debate? Mike Penberthy: I don’t know if it’s possible to compare eras. As a player, the NBA calls the game differently from a referee standpoint and the gameplay is played differently in all the eras. What rules are you comparing these guys in? I think [Michael] Jordan was the greatest in his era. I think Magic [Johnson] and [Larry] Bird were the best in their era. I think Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar], who doesn’t get any love, I’ve always thought Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the greatest basketball player to ever walk the earth because of what he did from the time he was 15 until the time he was 40.
RW: You won a championship playing with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal and now you’ve coached LeBron and Anthony Davis to a title. What are the differences in those Lakers superstar duos? Mike Penberthy: All four of them are different players. Shaq is a true center. A.D. is a freak hybrid. LeBron is one of the most dominant forces in transition and with his basketball I.Q. and ability to pass, dribble and make big shots. And then Kobe was one of the greatest scorers and greatest talents in NBA history, so all of them were different in their own ways. Shaq had the ability to make other people better. LeBron made other people better. A.D. and Kobe were more of the assassins of the group. They’re looking to score and looking to get the ball. Not that they couldn’t make other people better, but they were more valuable to the team scoring.
Mike Penberthy: The differences are really that they were all different players, but here’s the unique thing that’s similar. Shaq and Kobe were better when they played together with each in pick-and-rolls and in post-ups and kick-outs. LeBron and A.D. got better when they played together. When they shared the ball and utilized each other’s strengths. They’re much better together than they were apart individually. I think Shaq and Kobe came together to bring home championships and I think it’s the same for LeBron and A.D.
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