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Reports: Pistons close to hiring Stan Van Gundy, who could hire Otis Smith as Detroit’s general manager

May 13, 2014, 2:37 PM EDT

Miami Heat v Detroit Pistons Getty Images

By the sound of it, Stan Van Gundy tanked his chances with the Golden State Warriors by asking for front-office control. Either Van Gundy is a fool – which I don’t believe – or he has another offer he prefers over the Warriors without front-office control.

That’s probably from the Pistons, so if my faith in Van Gundy’s bargaining prowess is warranted, that means he wants to go to Detroit.

Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News:

To top it off, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Detroit owner Tom Gores is willing to do “whatever it takes,” one source says, to recruit Van Gundy.

Goodwill does not specify what exact title Van Gundy would hold, but Wojnarowski indicates it would be president/coach:

Otis Smith served as the Magic’s general manager when Van Gundy coached there. Hopefully for the Pistons’ sake, Van Gundy is just floating Smith as a candidate to help a friend establish credibility and doesn’t actually plan to hire him. Smith’s magic tenure was rife with errors, including drafting Fran Vasquez, overpaying Rashard Lewis and then trading Lewis for Gilbert Arenas, who had the worst contract in the NBA.

Van Gundy will need front-office help, but the Pistons could do better than Smith in the second chair.

The Warriors might do better than Van Gundy, too – at least in their eyes. If Van Gundy accepts the Detroit job, Golden State will return to their pursuit of their No. 1 choice. Wojnarowski:

If Van Gundy takes the Detroit job, Golden State officials plans to resume their pursuit of Steve Kerr to coach the franchise, sources told Yahoo Sports. Kerr and the New York Knicks remain unable to reach terms on a contract, and Warriors officials may travel to meet with Kerr in the near future, sources said.

Phil Jackson previously served as unpaid advisor to Gores, so maybe the Knicks president can talk the Pistons owner out of hiring Van Gundy – leaving Van Gundy headed to Golden State and Kerr to New York. But barring that far-fetched scenario, if Jackson really wants Kerr, the Knicks might have to stop balking at Kerr’s contract wishes. Reasonable or not, Kerr is in demand.

  1. 2dmo4 - May 13, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    Not sure how I feel about this as a Detroit fan. I would really dig Marc Jackson as the coach. Don’t think I like seeing Ron Jeremy every game sitting on the bench.

    • spursareold - May 13, 2014 at 2:56 PM

      Mark Jackson can’t draw up a play on a clipboard. He’s TOTALLY dependent on his assistants, and that makes him totally paranoid towards them. That doesn’t end well, ever.

    • raidmagic - May 13, 2014 at 3:49 PM

      If you would prefer Jackson over SVG you clearly know nothing about SVG. Not only will you be getting a top 5 coach you will be getting the best interview in the NBA. As a Magic fan I still miss SVG.

    • irvfin3 - May 13, 2014 at 8:08 PM

      Man SVG is the man! Coming from someone who watched the Orlando Magics when he was there he’s one of the best coaches, took them to the finals and has much more experience and a better coach than Mark Jackson. Trust me you’ll know when you watch the game.

  2. paleihe - May 13, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    Otis Smith? The guy who made Rashard Lewis over 20 million a year? The guy who then traded an expiring Rashard Lewis contract for a Gilbert Arenas contract with 2-3 years remaining on it? THAT Otis Smith?

    Detroit just doesn’t want to be a good team.

    • JHathwell - May 13, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      Yep. The guy who built an NBA Finals team.

      • pharohislife - May 13, 2014 at 10:10 PM

        And the same guy who muxed that Championship team all up In the years following that Finals appearance.

  3. Earnest Christian - May 13, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Reblogged this on The OpinioNation and commented:
    This is some 9th hour stuff here. First SVG was a strong candidate for the Golden State job, then the Lakers were a darkhorse but I gotta be honest here, in don’t know if he could deal with the egos in Detroit. Then again it’s a front office gig so the King Of The Pepsi Swig will be calling more shots than ever.

    Full disclosure: the only reason i’d be against him returning to the league is cause I love listening to him on radio with Dan Lebatard once a week. But that’s just my problem I have to deal with.

  4. jattsoorma - May 13, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    the girl in the picture tho….

  5. sportsnut101 - May 13, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    Yea no thx to otis smith he messed up d12 trade
    Messed up a few times but what gm hasnt

  6. JHathwell - May 13, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    Are you sure about Smith drafting Vasquez?

    Anyway, he did a fine job building that team. I don’t necessarily count what happened in the last two years against him, as he was kind of over the barrel to something drastic to keep Howard after the ownership declined to pay Hedo and thus broke up a team that just went to the finals.

  7. rajbais - May 13, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    I am somewhat surprised by this hiring because of where Van gundy is going. However, he told Dan lebatard that Josh Smith would actually be better if he came off the bench while better three-point shooters were in the game.

    He’s helped made rafer Alston more accurate. The next could happen to Jennings.

  8. rajbais - May 13, 2014 at 5:38 PM

    It’s the east too and so he has an advantage.

  9. eugenesaxe1 - May 13, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    It’s good to hear that Ron Jeremy is back in good health and ready to get back to work.

  10. bostonfrogs - May 13, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    Bill Laimbeer must feel great about the personal and physical sacrifices he made to help the Pistons win back-to-back championships. I can see why they refuse to hire him–so much better to continually fail quietly than to possibly hurt someone’s feelings and actually, you know, WIN GAMES.

    Piston *loyalty* is absolutely pathetic. The way they’ve treated Laimbeer, Isiah, and Chuck Daly before he passed makes me glad that they didn’t get that 3-peat after all; I only wish the Celtics had kept their crown in the late 80s, because if any sports franchise is completely undeserving of championship banners, it’s this one.

  11. metrocritical - May 13, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    In the business world, Tom Gores has been shown to have the Midas touch. As the absentees owner of an NBA team, Tom Gores doesn’t appear to have the ability to create anything but high priced excrement.

  12. ebecks34 - May 14, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    Well, Otis would never accept the position because he already have the worst contract of the NBA in his team

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