Stan Van Gundy: ‘We’ll be able to do things in free agency’


This off-season for the Detroit Pistons is all about solutions.

The first answer to Motown’s basketball woes came earlier this month when Stan Van Gundy was hired as it’s basketball czar.

Now, after losing their first round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Pistons fans have been wondering how Stan Van Gundy and company planned on attacking the roster issues that plagued last season’s squad.

It looks like we have our answer.

Van Gundy told 1130 WDFN-AM’s Matt Shepard recently that he might have more of an impact coaching in the short term than turning over the roster in his executive role. That doesn’t mean the Pistons won’t be making changes to their roster though.

“Immediately, I think I have a chance to make more of an impact on the coaching side,” said Van Gundy on WDFN’s Shep in Morning. “In the long term, I think we can make a big impact on the personnel side on changing things around here. Immediately, certainly — especially without the pick.

“We’ll be able to do things in free agency to change the roster a little bit. I’ll think we’ll be pretty aggressive in looking for ways to improve our roster. We’ll make an impact there, but yes I can make more of an impact first season — on the coaching side.”

The biggest fix will be getting players already on the roster to buy into Van Gundy’s  winning system. He is the 5th coach to lead the Pistons since 2011.

The minor part will be finding bargain players in free agency that are talented enough to contribute, but also can be glue guys that can build up the character of this team.

Ideally, Van Gundy will be looking for perimeter players that could stretch out the floor and possibly handle the basketball.

Someone that has championship experience and can be clutch.
Apr 11, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat forward Rashard Lewis (9) is defended as Indiana Pacers center Ian Mahinmi (28) applies pressure during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Former Celtics teammates Ray Allen and Paul Pierce fit the bill, but it’s hard to picture a scenario where either end up in the Motor City.

Shooters like Jodie Meeks, Jimmer Fredette, Francisco Gracia, Anthony Morrow, Mike Miller and C.J. Miles all could be targets to fill three point shooting needs.

Other intriguing free agents to fill a veteran role off the bench could be the Heat’s Rashard Lewis and the Clippers’ Danny Granger.

Lewis played for Van Gundy in Orlando, landing a monster sign and trade contract after a career year with Seattle. He never really lived up to his expectations if you look at the numbers, but SVG has been vocal in the past about how much he meant to Orlando and how deserving he was to win a championship in Miami.

He has been a great role player for the Heat the last two seasons, and could be just the right player to sell the Van Gundy way.

Former Pacer Danny Granger seems like a good fit at small forward.  If he gets 100% healthy, he could be a nice offensive and defensive piece as a role player.

As an analyst, Van Gundy has spoke highly of Granger. Again, if he’s healthy — he’d fit that stretch four look that SVG has implemented in the past.  He decided to sign with the Clippers after Philadelphia bought out his contract because they were the best contender he would actually see minutes on the floor for.

Next season, he could see a good chunk of time on the floor for the Pistons.

He was the glue for a Pacers team that pushed the Miami Heat to the brink  in the Eastern Conference Finals last season.  Since trading him away, Indiana has struggled at times to find leadership on and off the floor.

If Van Gundy is really looking to build a team instead of accumulating talent, Granger could be the best fit to help out this young Pistons roster.

He could be the easy solution next season to a very complicated equation that Detroit new mad scientist is drawing up to get back to winning ways.