The Detroit Pistons are building their organization around the draft and player development, which is finally starting to pay some dividends.
They have the talent, now they just need to develop it over the next few seasons as they try to pivot to being a competitive franchise.
But one area where the Pistons’ player development has failed is the G-League (including two-way contracts), as Detroit has gotten little from their affiliate the Motor City Cruise.
They are hoping that will change soon with the hire of Jamelle McMillan as the new head coach of the Motor City Cruise.
The 34-year-old McMillan has been in the league in some capacity for over a decade and has connections around the league and with the Detroit Pistons that should help him excel in the role.
Pistons news: New Motor City Cruise coach has connections
If the name seems familiar, it’s because Jamelle McMillan is the son of Nate McMillan, long-time NBA player and coach who was most recently with the Atlanta Hawks, where his son was an assistant.
Jamelle McMillan grew up around the league and knows what the Detroit Pistons can mean for it when they are winning.
He also has connections to head coach Monty Williams, as McMillan worked under Williams for four years in New Orleans as everything from a player scout to an assistant coach. So even though McMillan is very young, he’s been around the league for a long time and has coaching genes in his DNA.
This will be a great opportunity for him, as well as for the Detroit Pistons, who need to start consistently developing talent at the lower levels. This will be crucial under the new CBA, which has harsher penalties for going into the luxury tax, making lower-paid players that make an impact an even more valuable commodity.
Given his connections to Monty Williams and the Detroit Pistons (McMillan was an assistant for the Summer League team) I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on the Pistons’ bench before too long as an assistant coach.