The Pistons just drafted a player who turned pro so that he could receive the best possible treatment for his torn ACL, which should tell you why Stan Van Gundy’s next step is so important.
The Pistons’ new president/head coach has Pistons employees under review until Monday, when most NBA contracts expire. Now that he has completed a minor, though highly publicized, aspect of his job — drafting Spencer Dinwiddie in the second round — Van Gundy must correctly act on those employees.
Will athletic trainer Mike Abdenour return? Will strength coach Arnie Kander?
The Pistons should employ the best people for those positions, and I’d like to believe that that’s Abdenour and Kander. But I might just be nostalgic about two people who have been with the franchise so long.
Getting those calls right could say a lot about whether Dinwiddie pans out. If he regains his mobility, he’s a steal at No. 38 — a first-round talent who fell too far. But if he’s permanently slower, it’s probably a wasted pick.
In the same vein, Van Gundy has yet to announce the fates of George David and Ken Catanella — two front-office assistants under Joe Dumars who ran the team’s draft process until Van Gundy arrived. Surely, that gave David and Catanella a little more sway than they’d usually have.
Again, I’d like to see both return, but my perception might be colored by comfort.
In all, I believe that Van Gundy inherited some impressive employees. A move away from Dumars was overdue, but that doesn’t necessitate throwing out the babies with the bathwater.
Van Gundy has announced an ambitious flowchart containing multiple assistant general managers below Jeff Bower. There should be upcoming interviews, both among current staff members and potential newcomers.
The Pistons have Dinwiddie, which is nice. Now Van Gundy must form the franchise that best supports him — and all the players like him that will follow.