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Pistons to reach out, talk to Shaw, Sampson about coaching job

May 2, 2013, 11:14 AM EST

Kelvin Sampson AP

From the start of the process it seemed like Nate McMillan was the lead guy to get the Detroit Pistons job — he had meetings with both GM Nate McMillan and owner Tom Gores.

But the Pistons are not just focused on the former Sonics and Trail Blazers head coach, they looking up and down the coaching ranks — separate reports have them talking to top assistants Brian Shaw, Kelvin Sampson, and Miami assistant David Fizdale.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Lindsay Hunter — the interim coach of the Suns everybody (including Hunter) knows will be fired when the pick a new GM — also interviewed. That report also said don’t expect this to go too fast.

But remember one thing when reading about coaching search news — the process is just beginning. The Pistons are believed to be casting a wide net, which includes Pacers assistant Brian Shaw, Heat assistant David Fizdale and others.

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com mention Sampson — the lead Rockets assistant to Kevin McHale — but ads this is an owner-driven process.

The Pistons are pursuing Sampson and McMillan, the former Trail Blazers coach, sources said. Team president Joe Dumars has long admired McMillan, and owner Tom Gores is taking a leading role in the search. “He’s looking to put his stamp on this one,” a person familiar with Gores’ approach said.

Shaw also is interviewing with the Sixers. Any discussions with Shaw, Sampson and Fizdale need to be worked around their current teams’ playoff schedules.

Mike D’Antoni is looking to add a defensive-minded assistant to his staff and is interested in McMillan, Berger reports. (That seems an odd pairing, even though they worked on Team USA together under Mike Krzyzewski, because McMillan’s teams were slow, grind-it-out style teams).

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