Detroit Pistons coaching search: Is Tom Gores meddling or smart?

Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons didn’t win the NBA Draft Lottery, which could have an effect on their search for the next head coach.

After Monty Williams was fired, Shams Charania reported that the Pistons would have some level of interest in pursuing the 2-time Coach of the Year:

After the big drop in the lottery, Charania reported that had the Pistons’ actually won the Wembanyama sweepstakes, that Williams would have been their top priority.

But what about now?

The Detroit Pistons reportedly had a list of three “finalists” but that was before guys like Mike Budenholzer and Monty Williams became available. Owner Tom Gores had interviews with the three choices and there is some indication that he wasn’t particularly impressed with any of them, which could lead the Pistons to expand their coaching search.

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According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, none of the candidates “left a standout impression” with owner Tom Gores, so what does this mean for the Pistons’ coaching search? And should Gores really be the one to make this decision?

Detroit Pistons: Is Tom Gores meddling or smart to be patient?

If I had to trust Troy Weaver or Tom Gores to make the next coaching hire, I’d put my faith in Weaver, a basketball guy who has strong connections in the league vs. Gores, a billionaire who lives in LA, occasionally flies in to throw out T-Shirts and has won exactly squat as owner of the Detroit Pistons.

The Pistons have yet to win a playoff game with Gores as the owner, though the price of the franchise has skyrocketed in that time. In that time the Pistons have been through a slew of players and coaches and Gores has had his hands in some of the worst decisions, including giving Andre Drummond a max deal and trading for Blake Griffin.

So it’s not like Gores has a solid history to fall back on, but in this situation, he might be right. None of the three candidates he interviewed (Kevin Ollie, Charles Lee, Jarron Collins) have previous head coaching experience in the NBA, and there are now some more attractive candidates on the market, including guys who have won titles.

It might be smart for the Detroit Pistons to be patient and expand their search to include some more proven candidates to mitigate the risk. Gores is smart enough to know that the Pistons need to get this right, so waiting to see how certain things pan out does make sense.

The counterargument is that Pistons risk alienating the three candidates they called “finalists” (no real risk here, it’s not like anyone else is clamoring to interview Kevin Ollie) and that the longer they wait to hire a coach, the less involved that person will be in the offseason process.

This may be a rare smart decision for Gores, the guy who is signing the checks, as the field has widened and there might be better choices available.

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