May 13, 2014, 1:05 PM EDT
Stan Van Gundy is reportedly close to become the Golden State Warriors’ next coach, the expected culmination of a week of reports on both sides’ interest.
How do you interrupt that momentum?
Offer Van Gundy more.
The Detroit Pistons are pursuing Stan Van Gundy with a lucrative offer to assume complete control of basketball operations and coach, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
As coach, Van Gundy could build a scheme around Andre Drummond much like what the Magic had around Dwight Howard. Drummond is that type of anchoring talent, and the Pistons have failed to put him in ideal position to succeed. There is no better coach to fix that than Van Gundy.
However, it would be a bit more complicated in Detroit with the presence of Greg Monroe and Josh Smith, two starting-caliber players who don’t shoot well from the perimeter. Orlando surrounded Howard with four shooters to create spacing.
But how to handle Monroe and Smith wouldn’t be Van Gundy’s problem. That would be the general manager’s issue.
Oh Van Gundy would be the general manager, too? Hmmm.
That’s a whole lot of Van Gundy setting the tone for the organization.
I believe Howard actually appreciated playing for Van Gundy more often than not – maybe even wishes he were still playing for him. But their relationship soured late in their time together because, at least in part, Van Gundy can be grating over time. He’s still trying to shed the “Master of Panic” label, though he’s perfectly content being a details hound (a great trait, but one which produces thoughts that must be communicated to others with some care).
Is that the man the Pistons want in charge of everything?
If they do, they have a significant advantage over the Warriors, who offer the better team.
I doubt Golden State would demote general manager Bob Myers just to hire Van Gundy for that large role. The Warriors would probably offer a higher coaching salary, but by combining two openings, the Pistons might put together a financial package that beats what Golden State offers just for coaching.
Van Gundy is a good coach, one the Pistons should absolutely pursue. It might even be worth it to give him a chance as general manager – he has no front-office experience – to get him as a coach.
But if Van Gundy weren’t coming as a coach, I can’t believe Detroit would have any interest in him as general manager. That’s important for the Pistons to remember as they proceed.
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