Pistons Notes: Coaching Search, Free Agency, Beilein

The NBA draft is two and a half weeks away, and the free agent period will follow shortly thereafter. However, Detroit doesn’t have a first-round pick in the draft or cap room for free agents, so special advisor Ed Stefanski isn’t rushing to get a new head of basketball operations in place. In fact, as Keith Langlois of Pistons.com details, it sounds as if Stefanski is prioritizing the head coaching search.

“The priority right now is going for a head coach,” Stefanski said. “You would almost say simultaneously trying to find the front office, but a head coach is important so we can get that person to put arms around our players and make sure they’re doing their offseason program and developing. The summer is when these players really develop and that’s huge for the franchise.”

Here’s more on the Pistons, including a few notes on that search for a new head coach:

  • Here’s Stefanski on free agency, via Langlois: “We do not have a ton of money, so we’re not a player early on in free agency. But in any free agency period, you’ll be surprised after the A-guys go off the board and money gets tight, I believe some good players are out there and hopefully we can get them with the amount of money we have left.”
  • Perhaps the most interesting name to surface in the Pistons’ head coaching search has been that of Michigan coach John Beilein. Shawn Windsor of The Detroit Free Press makes the case that a deal between Beilein and the Pistons could be a fit for both sides, while Rod Beard of The Detroit News and Andrew Kahn of MLive.com also examine the possibility of a union.
  • Beard notes (via Twitter) that he doesn’t get the sense that Beilein is interviewing with the Pistons to create leverage for a larger contract from the Wolverines, adding that “this interest might be real.”
  • Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter link) recently indicated that Raptors assistant Nick Nurse is among the candidates meeting with the Pistons about their head coaching job.
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