12:55pm: In the wake of Stein’s report, Billups said he’d “never push for a job with any NBA franchise that is not open,” while Pistons ownership and Platinum Equity spokesman Mark Barnhill simply called the report “false” (Twitter links via Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated and Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press).
That’s no surprise, since – as Billups notes – those front office jobs aren’t currently open, so the team isn’t about to confirm its interest in other candidates.
12:05pm: The Pistons have expressed interest in hiring former All-Star guard Chauncey Billups for a basketball operations role, reports Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link). According to Stein, Detroit is mulling the idea of having Billups work in tandem with Arn Tellem in a “totally revamped” front office.
Currently, Stan Van Gundy serves as both the head coach and the president of basketball operations in Detroit, with Jeff Bower handling day-to-day operations as the Pistons’ general manager. Tellem, a longtime agent, is the team’s vice chairman.
However, with the Pistons almost certain to miss the playoffs despite making a big midseason splash for Blake Griffin, a front office shakeup could be coming this offseason. There have been rumblings about the possibility of Tellem moving from the business side to the basketball side, and Billups would be a logical target to work with him, given his history with the Pistons as a player.
While Billups’ résumé for a top front office job may be somewhat lacking, he’s viewed as a future executive, and a pairing with an industry veteran like Tellem might be a nice fit. Billups nearly landed in Cleveland last summer when the Cavaliers targeted him as David Griffin‘s replacement. He ultimately withdrew from consideration for that GM job, with a below-market offer reportedly playing a part in his decision.
If the Pistons are to shake up their front office, it’s not clear whether Van Gundy would remain with the organization. Last year, Doc Rivers and Mike Budenholzer continued to coach the Clippers and Hawks, respectively, despite having their president of basketball operations titles removed. Theoretically, the Pistons could do the same thing with Van Gundy in the hopes that he could get better results from the club when he’s focused exclusively on coaching. It’s not clear if both sides would be on board with that arrangement though.