Pistons Hoping To Hire Tim Connelly As President Of Basketball Operations?

The Pistons appear to be targeting Timberwolves president Tim Connelly in their search for a new president of basketball operations, according to James L. Edwards III and Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Sources tell Edwards and Charania that Connelly is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract with Minnesota this summer. Although it seems likely that he’ll sign a long-term deal with the Wolves, the authors speculate that Detroit owner Tom Gores could potentially land him with an aggressive offer in the range of $15MM per year.

The Pistons’ search for someone to run the front office has moved slowly since it was announced. The Bucks reportedly denied permission for Detroit to interview team president Jon Horst, and former Trail Blazers executive Neil Olshey refused an invitation to interview for the job.

The Pistons have moved onto other candidates, with the authors hearing that Pelicans general manager Trajan Langdon, Mavericks consultant Dennis Lindsey and Bulls general manager Marc Eversley have become “viable targets” for the role.

In the same piece, Edwards and Charania speculate that falling to No. 5 in the draft lottery may boost leaguewide interest in the Pistons’ first-round pick. Because there’s not a set tier of players at the top of this year’s draft, rival teams may believe the fifth pick could bring a talent similar to the top choice. It also comes at a significant discount, as the authors note that last year’s No. 1 pick, Victor Wembanyama, will earn between $12MM and $16MM for the rest of his rookie contract, while No. 5 pick Ausar Thompson will be paid between $8.3MM and $11.1MM.

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