NBA rumors: Mike Dunleavy, JR Holden on Pistons' radar

Nets director of player personnel J.R. Holden and Warriors assistant GM Mike Dunleavy are among the executives on the Pistons’ radar as they look to add to their front office, per SNY sources. Holden had a remarkable Euroleague playing career and worked for both the 76ers and Pistons in scouting roles before Nets GM Sean Marks added him as director of player personnel last year.

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Dunleavy Jr., a 15-year NBA veteran, started scouting with Golden State in 2018 and was promoted to assistant general manager last season. Nets assistant GM Jeff Peterson and Thunder VP of basketball operations Troy Weaver are among the top candidates for the Pistons' opening, SNY sources confirm.
James Edwards III: I'm told that the #Pistons' plan is still to hire a GM first and then allow that person to fill out his team. Unless things fall through, expect assistant GMs to be named after GM is hired.
Marc Stein: Longtime Thunder executive Troy Weaver has emerged as the top choice in Detroit's search for a new GM, @NYTSports has learned, with the Pistons actively working to complete a deal to hire Weaver
Marc Stein: Longtime Thunder executive Troy Weaver has emerged as the top choice in Detroit's search for a new GM, @NYTSports has learned, with the Pistons actively working to complete a deal to hire Weaver
The organization would also welcome a reunion with Chauncey Billups, who has maintained that he is interested in being hired only as general manager, according to a source. The Pistons would prefer to hire Billups, who has no NBA executive experience, as an assistant, where he could learn the ins and outs of working in a front office.
After hiring a general manager, the front office will begin its search for an assistant. The goal is to find someone light on experience who could eventually grow into a larger role within the organization. The timing of the decision to fill one or both positions shows that the organization is committing to change. Per a source, the team is prioritizing diversity in both searches. Former Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince, who is currently the vice president of basketball affairs for the Memphis Grizzlies, is a candidate for the assistant GM job.
The Pistons are in the market for their first general manager since 2018, but it remains to be seen if the role will be filled for the 2020-21 season. Sources told The Athletic that while the team’s focus is on hiring for that job, Detroit could consider hiring multiple assistant general managers instead. The timing of the hires and what roles will be filled will be dependent upon how the search pans out, per a source. Assistant GM Malik Rose left the team earlier this week for a role with the NBA.
Among those who could be on the consider list for the assistant GM job? Former Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince, now the Grizzlies’ vice president of basketball affairs. Prince has been working in Memphis’ front office only since 2017, so it appears the team would target him only for an assistant general manager position.
The Pistons also have had interest for many years in finding an assistant general manager job for former point guard Chauncey Billups. Per a source, Billups, to this point, has shown interest only in lead GM jobs if he is to make the leap from TV analyst to a team executive.
It appears the team would prefer an experienced candidate for the GM job, someone who can step in and make an immediate impact. With Detroit rebuilding and focusing on young talent, a decision-maker with an eye for player evaluation and drafting seems to be of the utmost importance. The Pistons are likely to hold high lottery picks for the foreseeable future, and building the organization through young, cost-friendly talent appears to be their best path back toward relevancy.
Eric Woodyard: As Detroit continues its GM search, multiple sources tell ESPN that the Pistons haven’t requested permission to interview former Piston Tayshaun Prince for the role. Prince is currently Memphis’ Vice President of Basketball Affairs and wasn’t on Detroit’s initial interview list.
Stefan Bondy: Detroit assistant GM Malik Rose is leaving the organization to take a job with the NBA, according to multiple sources. The Pistons are searching for a new GM to work with Ed Stefanski.
Rod Beard: The #Pistons still are working on their list of candidates for their GM opening. One would have to think that Tayshaun Prince would be on that list, along with possibly Chauncey Billups.
Vincent Goodwill: Ed Stefanski will remain at the top of basketball operations for the Pistons, if they hire a GM, a source tells Yahoo Sports. Pistons have been quietly vetting candidates since before the league shutdown, according to sources. @Adrian Wojnarowski first on official news of search
The Detroit Pistons are opening a search to hire a general manager to work with senior adviser Ed Stefanski, sources told ESPN. Detroit plans to begin contacting potential candidates to start an interview process this week, sources said.
Stefanski will be working with Pistons and Palace Sports vice chairman Arn Tellem on the process to hire a GM, sources said. The new GM will work closely with Stefanski and coach Dwane Casey on personnel matters. Stefanski and Casey were hired in 2018.
Vincent Ellis: But some #Pistons tidbits. Everyone is expected back from coaching, front office. Coaching consultant Corey Gaines was on a one-year deal, but could return.
DFP: Going into trade season, what are you trying to get accomplished? Ed Stefanski: “We as a front office, we talk to the league on a regular basis, finding out from teams what their philosophy may be right now, but the thing is, it always changes. A lot of teams — trying to make the playoffs — will wait to see where they are at the trade deadline in February to discern whether they are buyers or sellers. The majority of teams are waiting. Teams that are struggling mightily may be sellers right now and if there’s a deal out there, they’ll pull the trigger, but like every year, more trades are going to occur closer to the deadline.”
DFP: Besides the obvious issue of creating a future problem to solve a current one, can you further explain the reluctance to create a better cap situation at all costs? Ed Stefanski: “We’re in cap restrictions right now. We were this past free agency and we will be again the next free agency. If we had to get off assets for cap relief, with our cap situation it really wouldn’t improve more than what we already have — the midlevel exception — for next year. We wouldn’t improve substantially so to use assets to get off some of the contracts you may want to get off — I’m not saying we want to — but to do something like that? It still wouldn’t create a lot of room.”
DFP: Has Blake Griffin exceeded expectations? Ed Stefanski: “I didn’t know what to expect from Blake. In talking to him this summer, he mentioned this is the first summer in a while he’d been totally healthy and I think it’s shown. He’s very difficult (to defend), he’s a force out there, he’s playing at an All-Star level. I enjoy watching how the other teams want to come out and play him. A lot of teams get physical with him, … teams bring double teams, teams bring triple teams and he’s been real good at finding the open man. … Most of this year he’s found the open man and we run a lot of our offense through him.”
Vincent Ellis: The Detroit Pistons announce Sachin Gupta has been named assistant general manager. He will oversee analytics, source tells the Free Press.
James Edwards III: The Detroit #Pistons have announced the hiring of Gregg Polinsky as director of player personnel. He's been with the Nets since 1999 in various scouting and personnel positions.
The Pistons have hired Gregg Polinsky as director of player personnel, a league source confirmed to The Detroit News on Thursday. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the hiring. In his new role with the Pistons, Polinsky he will oversee the scouting department and report to senior adviser Ed Stefanski. The two worked together previously with the Brooklyn Nets.
Vincent Ellis: Aside from Nets exec Gregg Polinsky joining #Pistons front office, Pat Garrity and Andrew Loomis, holdovers from SVG staff, are here in Vegas and are likely to remain.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Detroit has hired Brooklyn's Gregg Polinsky as Director of Player Personnel, league sources tell ESPN. Ed Stefanski and Polinsky worked together for years with the Nets. Polinsky will take on a larger front office role with Pistons.
Marc J. Spears: Former NBA forward Malik Rose is expected to be hired as the @Detroit Pistons assistant general manager tomorrow, a source told @TheUndefeated. The two-time champion has been the @Atlanta Hawks basketball operations manager since 2015.
James Edwards III: Stefanski echoes Van Gundy's thoughts when the trade for Griffin went down: "I'd rather have Blake than whoever we'd get at No. 12"
James Edwards III: For all of those who still are unsure or unclear, Ed Stefanski was just introduced as "leader of our front office."
James Edwards III: In the front office, the #Pistons were looking for a young, promising person to put in the mix. Rose fits the bill. And given the new structure of the front office, it's unclear if he'll be labeled as "general manager." But he'll be involved.
Shams Charania: The Detroit Pistons have offered a front office role to Atlanta Hawks executive Malik Rose and sides are in conversations toward deal, league sources tell Yahoo. Rose was awarded G League Executive of Year this season with Erie.
Spurs assistant coach Ime Udoka meeting with Pistons owner Tom Gores today, according to sources. Dwane Casey met with Gores yesterday. Pistons very impressed with Casey, appears to be leader at this point
Dwane Casey met with Detroit owner Tom Gores on Tuesday, league sources tell ESPN --- and now, Michigan's John Beilein has pulled out of Pistons search. Beilein had talked separately with Gores and Detroit management in process, league sources said.
Vincent Ellis: In the wake of GM Jeff Bower leaving the #Pistons, I gather assistant GM Pat Garrity is a strong candidate to have a role in #Pistons front office.
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.…
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.
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May 17, 2021 | 7:44 am EDT Update

Raptors bringing back Khem Birch?

Birch certainly gives the impression that he would love to be back with Toronto and it’s hard to imagine the Raptors wouldn’t have a role for him. But he’ll be 29 next season, so the contract will have to be right also. He’s coming off a two-year deal that paid him $6 million and would doubtless like some security on his next deal. “I think [on-court] fit and financial is probably what’s tied right now,” said Birch. “I’ve seen a lot of guys who actually go for financial but they get flushed out after their contracts [are over]. So I think fit is very important because I don’t want to just be the kind of guy who gets money and gets flushed out. I actually want to have a career and play a big part on a championship-level team or just win. That’s my goal.”
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May 17, 2021 | 4:43 am EDT Update

Marcus Morris apologized to Luka Doncic

With a first-round rematch between their teams set, Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic said there are no hard feelings remaining from the heated rivalry that he developed with LA Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr. during last season’s playoff series. According to Doncic, Morris apologized to him during a game earlier this season about stepping on the back of Doncic’s left ankle in Game 5, a controversial play that the Mavs considered dirty with their star playing on a sprained ankle.