Pistons Rumors

Raptors Interview Jerry Stackhouse For Coaching Job

The Raptors interviewed their G League head coach, Jerry Stackhouse, for their head coaching job last week in Chicago, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports tweets.

Familiarity could work in Stackhouse’s favor. He moved into a coaching two years after he retired in 2013, serving as an assistant to former coach Dwane Casey. He took over the head coaching job with Raptors 905 prior to the 2016-17 season and guided them to a championship. They lost in the finals to Austin this past season.

The Raptors were reportedly interested in hiring ex-Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer before he selected the Bucks. Stackhouse is just one of three in-house candidates being considered as Casey’s replacement. Nick Nurse and Rex Kalamian also fall into that category.

Stackhouse is also considered a candidate for the Pistons’ head coaching position. Detroit was one of the teams Stackhouse played for during his long NBA career. He was one of many candidates interviewed by the Knicks before they chose former Grizzlies head man David Fizdale.

Billups Surprising Omission From Front-Office Candidates

  • It’s surprising that Chauncey Billups wasn’t included on the list of potential front office candidates in Detroit, notes Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. The former Pistons star, now an ESPN analyst, has been open about his desire to become an executive. Ellis writes that the organization prefers someone with experience in running a team, but states that if Billups does get hired he is likely to bring along former teammates such as Tayshaun Prince, Rip Hamilton and Ben Wallace.

Becky Hammon On Pistons’ Radar

Spurs assistant Becky Hammon is on the Pistons’ radar as they seek out a new head coach to replace Stan Van Gundy, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News.

The Pistons are currently searching for both a head coach and a new head of basketball operations, with a focus on filling the front office position first. As such, the timeline on Detroit’s head coaching search remains up in the air, so it’s not clear if – or when – Hammon might get an interview.

If the Pistons do elect to meet with Hammon, it won’t be her first head coaching interview this spring. She also had a meeting with the Bucks last week before Milwaukee completed its search by hiring Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer.

A member of the Spurs’ staff for the last four seasons, Hammon had a lengthy career as a player, spending several seasons with the WNBA’s New York Liberty and San Antonio Stars and earning six WNBA All-Star nods. She also played for a handful of international teams in Spain and Russia.

Hammon, who recently received a strong endorsement from Spurs big man Pau Gasol, is one of several San Antonio assistants who have received head coaching interest this spring. James Borrego was hired by the Hornets, Ettore Messina was said to be a finalist for the Milwaukee job, and Ime Udoka interviewed with the Magic and Hornets.

Pistons Use VR Tech During Combine Meetings

The Pistons‘ meetings at this week’s draft combine have included an interesting twist, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com, who writes that the prospects interviewed by Detroit talked about being outfitted with a virtual reality headset.

“They didn’t really ask any tricky questions,” Kansas guard Devonte’ Graham said of his meeting with the Pistons. “They did a virtual reality where I was like in the headphones and goggles and I was making plays – see if you made the right reads and stuff like that. It was cool.”

Penn State’s Tony Carr had a similar account of his interview with the Pistons: “They definitely did some interesting virtual-reality testing things just to kind of figure out your decision making and things like that (with) the 3-D glasses. It was pretty cool. I actually watched my little brother play with them but I’ve never used them myself.”

According to Langlois, the list of prospects who have met – or will meet – with the Pistons at the combine also included Tyus Battle (Syracuse), Shake Milton (SMU), Rawle Alkins (Arizona), Brian Bowen (South Carolina), Jevon Carter (West Virginia), and Trevon Duval (Duke). In a tweet, Langlois adds Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo to that list as well.

Three NBA Head Coaching Searches Still Active

Not a single NBA team made a head coaching change during the 2017 offseason, but the market has course-corrected so far in 2018. Already, five clubs – the Suns, Knicks, Hawks, Hornets, and Bucks – have reached agreements with new head coaches since the regular season ended, with a sixth club (the Grizzlies) elevating its interim head coach to the permanent role.

While those six teams have completed their coaching searches, there are more changes still to come, as three other clubs remain on the lookout for new head coaches. Here’s the latest on those searches:

Detroit Pistons

We haven’t heard much yet about the Pistons’ search for a new head coach, but that makes sense, since the club is also in the market for a new head of basketball operations — Stan Van Gundy held both roles.

Initial reports indicated that the Pistons would likely focus on finding someone for that front office role first, to ensure that person would have some say in the coaching search. That remains the team’s preference, according to Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press, who says the goal is to have a new head of basketball operations in place within the next couple weeks (Twitter links). ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski passed along a partial list of candidates on Wednesday.

While the front office hire could dictate which direction the Pistons go for a head coach, former Raptors head coach Dwane Casey and Raptors 905 coach Jerry Stackhouse have been cited as possible targets.

Orlando Magic

As promised, the Magic have certainly taken their time with their head coaching search. Orlando fired Frank Vogel on April 12, one day after the regular season ended, so the team has now been without a head coach for five weeks.

In addition to being patient, the Magic have also been quite secretive, declining to confirm whether or not they’re considering some rumored candidates. We know they’ve interviewed Trail Blazers assistant David Vanterpool and Spurs assistant Ime Udoka. David Fizdale also met with Orlando, but has since been hired by the Knicks.

Recently, reports have indicated that the Magic’s top candidate may be a surprise choice: University of Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson. Orlando president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman and GM John Hammond both worked in the Bucks’ front office back when Sampson served as an assistant coach in Milwaukee, so presumably they know him well.

While Sampson’s link to the Magic front office could pay off, it doesn’t appear that a link to Weltman – a former Raptors GM – will pay off for Toronto’s Nick Nurse or Jerry Stackhouse. They were initially believed to be candidates, but reportedly haven’t been interviewed for the job.

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors may have lost their top choice on Wednesday, when Mike Budenholzer – who met with Toronto on Monday – reached an agreement to coach the Bucks. With the former Hawks coach off the market, it’s not clear which direction the Raptors will go.

As Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca writes today, the other known candidates to replace Dwane Casey are all in-house coaches. Nick Nurse, Rex Kalamian, and Jerry Stackhouse have interviewed for the position, according to Grange, who suggests that Nurse may be the favorite of those three based on his excellent work with Toronto’s offense.

Still, it’s not a lock that the Raptors will pick one of their internal candidates. In fact, Grange says he’d be “very surprised” if team president Masai Ujiri doesn’t cast a wider net in the coming days — or even weeks.

While it’s possible that another team could join the Pistons, Magic, and Raptors in a search for a new head coach, the odds of that happening seem less and less likely.

Teams that have been eliminated from the postseason – or didn’t make it to begin with – probably wouldn’t drag their feet this long before making a change.

As for the four teams still alive, Tyronn Lue is the only one of those four head coaches whose seat may be heating up, but I don’t think he’s in any immediate danger of being fired by the Cavaliers.

To keep tabs on the NBA’s head coaching updates for the rest of the spring, be sure to check out our tracker.

2018 NBA Draft Picks By Team

While the Sixers were knocked out of the 2018 playoffs in the Eastern Conference Semifinals by the underdog Celtics, few teams are better positioned in this year’s draft than Philadelphia. The 76ers own six of the 60 picks in the 2018 NBA draft, including a pair of first-rounders.

As our full 2018 draft order shows, the Sixers are one of seven NBA teams that holds more than two selections in this year’s draft. On the other end of the spectrum, eight teams have just one pick in 2018, while two teams – the Heat and Raptors – don’t have any selections.

To present a clearer picture of which teams are most – and least – stocked with picks for the 2018 NBA draft, we’ve rounded up all 60 picks by team in the space below. Let’s dive in…

Teams with more than two picks:

  • Philadelphia 76ers (6): 10, 26, 38, 39, 56, 60
  • Phoenix Suns (4): 1, 16, 31, 59
  • Atlanta Hawks (4): 3, 19, 30, 34
  • Dallas Mavericks (3): 5, 33, 54
  • Orlando Magic (3): 6, 35, 41
  • Denver Nuggets (3): 14, 43, 58
  • Brooklyn Nets (3): 29, 40, 45

Teams with two picks:

  • Sacramento Kings: 2, 37
  • Memphis Grizzlies: 4, 32
  • Chicago Bulls: 7, 22
  • New York Knicks: 9, 36
  • Charlotte Hornets: 11, 55
  • Los Angeles Clippers: 12, 13
  • Washington Wizards: 15, 44
  • San Antonio Spurs: 18, 49
  • Minnesota Timberwolves: 20, 48
  • Utah Jazz: 21, 52
  • Indiana Pacers: 23, 50
  • Los Angeles Lakers: 25, 47
  • Oklahoma City Thunder: 53, 57

Teams with fewer than two picks:

  • Cleveland Cavaliers (1): 8
  • Milwaukee Bucks (1): 17
  • Portland Trail Blazers (1): 24
  • Boston Celtics (1): 27
  • Golden State Warriors (1): 28
  • Detroit Pistons (1): 42
  • Houston Rockets (1): 46
  • New Orleans Pelicans (1): 51
  • Miami Heat (0)
  • Toronto Raptors (0)

Shane Battier Gets Permission To Interview With Pistons

Shane Battier has received permission from the Heat to discuss a possible front office job with the Pistons, tweets Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel.

Battier was among several candidates revealed earlier today to be under consideration for positions in Detroit. He currently serves as director of basketball development and analytics in Miami.

Battier is being groomed for a high-level position with the Heat and may even run the organization someday if he stays there, according to the Five Reasons Sports Network (Twitter link). However, team president Pat Riley is expected to remain in place for several more years, and Battier’s connections to Michigan may be enough to lure him to the Pistons.

Pistons Meeting With Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk At Combine

  • A ton of meetings will take place at the combine this week, so it’s likely not worth reading too much into each one, but here are a few early updates: The Pistons are meeting with Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (Twitter link via Vince Ellis of The Detroit Press), the Bucks are interviewing Texas Tech’s Zhaire Smith (Twitter link via Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times), the Timberwolves are interviewing Anfernee Simons (Twitter link via Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News), and the Knicks are meeting with Trae Young (link via Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News).

Latest On Pistons’ GM/Front Office Search

The Pistons continue to conduct separate searches for a new head coach and a new head of basketball operations, and while it’s possible they’ll hire a coach sooner rather than later, they prefer to address their front office opening first. That would allow the new head of basketball operations to have a say in the head coaching hire.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski provides an update on Detroit’s front office search today, reporting (via Twitter) that NBA executive VP of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe, Grizzlies executive VP of player personnel Ed Stefanski, Rockets executive VP of basketball operations Gersson Rosas, and Nets assistant GM Trajan Langdon are among the candidates the Pistons are eyeing to run their basketball operations department. Current GM Jeff Bower also remains a candidate to be promoted, Wojnarowski adds (via Twitter).

Most of those executives have received consideration for top front office jobs in the recent past. Rosas, for instance, was cited as a contender for the Hornets’ GM opening this spring. Stefanski was said to be in the mix for the Bucks’ GM vacancy last summer, while Langdon received consideration for the Hawks job around the same time.

In addition to considering those aforementioned candidates for their top basketball operations job, the Pistons are also targeting TNT analyst Brent Barry and Heat director of basketball development and analytics Shane Battier for front office roles, according to Wojnarowski.

Although Bower is currently running the Pistons’ basketball operations department, his contract is set to expire on June 30, so Detroit could end up making several new hires this spring. Should Bower depart, the Pistons may hire a new president of basketball operations, a new GM, and a new head coach.

Pistons Notes: Combine, Second-Round Pick, Bower

  • The Pistons no longer have their 2018 first-round pick, but they’ll be on the lookout for second-round options at this week’s combine. Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press identifies five names to watch, while Keith Langlois of Pistons.com details why the club could draft a player at any position.
  • Speaking of the Pistons, they don’t yet have a new head of basketball operations in place, so GM Jeff Bower continues to run the front office — despite the fact that his contract is set to expire on June 30. Writing for The Detroit Free Press, Ellis has the story on Bower’s unusual situation.