Detroit Pistons Coach Dreams: Rick Adelman

Modeled after Draft Dreams, Dan and I will be analyzing potential Piston coaches.


Age: 65

Current Job: None (not offered a new contract after coaching the Rockets this season)

Previous experience:

  • Head coach, Houston Rockets (2007-11)
  • Head coach, Sacramento Kings (1998-2006)
  • Head coach, Golden State Warriors (1995-97)
  • Head coach, Portland Trail Blazers head coach (1988-1994)
  • Assistant coach, Portland Trail Blazers (1983-88)


I’ve already written extensively about my curiosity about seeing Greg Monroe in Adelman’s high post, Kings-style offense. Monroe, like former Adelman bigs Chris Webber, Vlade Divac and Brad Miller, is an excellent passer who could develop that skill even more under an offensively creative coach like Adelman. On top of that, I’d love to see whether Adelman’s offensive approach could find a way to get more production out of Austin Daye, whose size and skillset are similar to another player who excelled under Adelman, Peja Stojakovic.

Adelman has won everywhere he’s coached, save for a short stint in Golden State, where everyone loses. He’s had winning seasons in 17 of his 19 full seasons as coach. He’s well-respected, relates well to players, and has an offensive track record to match Detroit’s roster filled with players who would certainly prefer a more creative approach at that end of the court.


Cost would be a definite factor. One of the philosophies I’ve always agreed with Joe Dumars on is that it’s a waste to spend big money on a coach if you don’t have a roster capable of contending. You certainly don’t want to hire a bad coach, and that’s not the point I’m trying to make. But the Pistons are likely not going to make the playoff next season, or if they do make it, they will be an Indiana-like team that barely sneaks in because the East is so mediocre after the top three or four teams. Adelman is the biggest name coach on the market, and his experience would mean he’d probably be the most expensive as well.

Age and location are also factors. It’s likely Adelman would want to coach a team closer to contending. He’s also never veered out of the Western Conference. Monroe and Daye are nice young players, but I don’t think either is enticing enough to coax a coach of Adelman’s stature to come to Detroit.


My guess is the Pistons would be very interested only if Adelman shows an interest. I would also guess Adelman would be lukewarm to the prospects of joining a rebuilding team in Detroit. He’s reportedly a candidate with a promising young team in Golden State and he could even decide to sit out a season and still be at the top of every team’s list next year.

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Tags: Austin Daye Greg Monroe

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