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Pistons, Stan Van Gundy Reach Deal

WEDNESDAY, 8:02am: Van Gundy and the Pistons have a signed contract, reports Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press, and a formal announcement is set to come this morning, according to Marc Stein of (Twitter links).

TUESDAY, 8:37pm: The deal will be signed in a few hours, tweets Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News.

8:28pm: Van Gundy has reached an agreement in principle to become the Pistons’ head coach/president of basketball operations, sources tell ESPN’s Marc Stein. Stein also reports that an official announcement is expected this week and confirms that the deal is worth an estimated $35MM over five years.

7:43pm: Per Wojnarowski, the Pistons and Van Gundy are nearing an agreement centered on five years and $35MM.

2:45pm: Van Gundy hasn’t entirely ruled out the Warrors yet, according to Wojnarowski. Gores is ready to do whatever it takes to land Van Gundy, Wojnarowski hears, and while Detroit’s offer trumps Golden State’s willingness to pay Van Gundy $25-30MM on a five-year deal, money isn’t Van Gundy’s primary concern, according to Wojnarowski. The chance to control a front office and build a roster is what’s luring Van Gundy to Detroit, Wojnarowski writes.

2:15pm: Van Gundy and the Pistons are working toward a five-year, $35MM deal, Wojnarowski tweets.

1:55pm: Smith is only one of several names in the mix for the Pistons GM job if Van Gundy ends up overseeing basketball operations for the team, according to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press (on Twitter).

1:36pm: The Pistons are merely waiting on Van Gundy to sign their offer, and he’s likely to do so, reports Marc Stein of (Twitter link).

1:30pm: The Warriors met with Van Gundy on Monday in Florida and emerged convinced that Van Gundy was leaning toward the Pistons job, Wojnarowski tweets.

1:27pm: If he reaches a deal to run the Pistons front office and coach the team, Van Gundy’s thinking about hiring Otis Smith to work under him as GM of the Pistons, Wojnarowski reports (on Twitter). Smith, the former Magic GM, oversaw Van Gundy when they worked together in Orlando.

1:21pm: Van Gundy was impressed with Golden State’s management structure and ownership when he spoke with the team recently, Wojnarowski notes in the latest version of his piece, though the Pistons intrigue him as well.

1:16pm: The Pistons and Van Gundy are close to a deal, tweets Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News, who hears there’s a chance it’s finalized in a day or two.

12:09am: Van Gundy is undecided between the Pistons and the Warriors, Wojnarowski tweets. He’s seriously considering Detroit’s offer, but he’s torn between taking that and coaching the Warriors, according to Wojnarowski.

11:33am: The Pistons are pitching Stan Van Gundy on becoming both coach and the team’s top basketball office executive, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The Warriors appeared to be progressing swiftly toward an agreement with Van Gundy to coach their team, but a report minutes earlier indicated that no deal was imminent between Golden State and the former Heat and Magic coach.

Van Gundy has strong interest in the Warriors, Wojnarowski writes, though it’s unclear how much the Pistons intrigue him. It would be a lucrative arrangement in Detroit, according to Wojnarowski, although just what sort of terms the Pistons are floating is unclear. Van Gundy spoke on NBC Radio recently of his desire to have a strong working relationship with the front office in whatever coaching job he would take, as Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group notes. The Pistons gig, which would give him complete control of the team’s basketball ops, Wojnarowski says, would give Van Gundy no one other than owner Tom Gores looking over his shoulder. Van Gundy said when he left his job as Heat coach that he wanted to spend more time with his family, but widespread speculation suggested that Heat team president Pat Riley forced him out so he could take over coaching duties instead.

Van Gundy asked the Warriors for total control over their basketball operations, but they declined to give him that, reports Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group (Twitter link). The Warriors put heavy pressure on former coach Mark Jackson, and with activist co-owner Joe Lacob, GM Bob Myers and adviser Jerry West, among others, in place, Van Gundy would seemingly have little room for personnel input if he were to take the Golden State job.

Pistons interim coach John Loyer has been a candidate to retain his job on a more permanent basis. Pistons assistant GM George David and director of basketball operations Ken Catanella have assumed the responsibilities of former president of basketball operations Joe Dumars, and they have also been in the running to formally replace Dumars atop the team’s front office.

Former Raptors and Suns GM Bryan Colangelo and Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren appeared last week to be the front-runners for the top Pistons front office job. Cavs GM David Griffin was a candidate before Cleveland removed the interim tag from his job. NBA senior vice president of basketball operations Kiki Vandeweghe, Magic assistant GM Scott Perry and Warriors assistant GM Travis Schlenk were also reportedly in the running. Michigan State’s Tom Izzo seemed to be in the mix for the Pistons coaching job.

Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick of USA Today first noted a few weeks ago that the Pistons were considering hiring someone in a dual coaching/front office role. Detroit reached out to Van Gundy earlier, according to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News, but Van Gundy’s request for a degree of control over personnel decisions closed those brief talks. It seems the Pistons have had a change of heart.

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