Could MIT engineer be the one to save the Detroit Pistons?

Detroit Pistons v Los Angeles Lakers
Detroit Pistons v Los Angeles Lakers / Harry How/GettyImages

Names have begun to surface in the Detroit Pistons’ search for a new president of basketball operations. 

Some were expected, such as Minnesota president Tim Connelly or Bucks’ GM Jon Horst. Connelly is one of the top executives in the NBA and could opt out of his deal in Minnesota, and Horst has longstanding connections with the Pistons and is a guy with a championship resume. 

We’ve also heard some unexpected names like JJ Redick, a former player and current pundit/podcaster who knows ball but has never held a job on a bench or in a front office. 

Another name was mentioned by James Edwards III in a recent mailbag (subscription) who might literally be the smartest person in the room. 

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Sachin Gupta, current executive VP for Minnesota, may not be a name many people know, but he’s a rising star in the front-office ranks and could be the man to save the Detroit Pistons. 

Detroit Pistons rumors: Sachin Gupta, from MIT to the NBA 

Gupta certainly didn’t take the traditional path to the NBA, as he majored in electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, a combination that usually leads to a life in the cubical of a tech giant. 

Instead, he went to Stanford for an MBA and then landed a job at ESPN, where he invented the famous NBA Trade Machine that has been used recklessly by fans ever since to create trades that are never going to happen. I’m not sure if we should thank him for it or not. 

Gupta has worked with some of the smartest minds in the game and they all had glowing reports about him. He was under Daryl Morey in Houston, Sam Hinkie with the 76ers and eventually as assistant GM for the Pistons, so Detroit is familiar with his work. 

The Timberwolves were able to steal him away and make him EVP, where he has been ever since, surviving multiple GMs in that time because of his work with analytics and his expertise on the salary cap. 

So, he’s worked under Morey, Hinkie, Stefanski and Connelly and all of them loved him. Gupta would bring a unique point of view and would actually be the smartest man in the room instead of just acting like it. He’s not all just numbers, he has also been involved on the scouting side as well, so Gupta has a well-rounded past. 

Given his familiarity with the franchise, he might have a leg up on some of the competition, so it will be interesting if he does in fact get interviewed.