While we were all wondering who the Detroit Pistons would bring in for president of basketball operations, and who would they would bring in to coach, the Pistons were busy finding someone who could do both. Last night Stan Van Gundy and the Pistons agreed to a 5 year 35 million dollar contract that gives him full basketball control as far as coaching and player personnel decisions. A press conference will be held Thursday to announce the new deal.
Five years 35 million is a lot to invest in a new hire, but the extra money is for the extra work. SVG will wear many hats in the Pistons organization, and none will be bigger than the president of basketball operations role. Van Gundy will have final say on all player personnel decisions, and already has his work cut out for him. Between possibly trading Josh Smith, and figuring out to do with Greg Monroe’s new deal Van Gundy already has a lot on his plate, and will need to get to work immediately. It has been rumored that Van Gundy will bring in Otis Smith to help him run the basketball operations. Smith was his general manager during his time with the magic, and would bring an experienced, steady hand to the organization.
Van Gundy will also do what he is familiar with, coaching. No one doubts Van Gundy’s ability to lead a talented NBA roster. His .641 career winning percentage and the fact that he never had a losing season with the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic show that he is more than capable. Some may question his antics on the sideline, and how he deals with his players (All the Dwight Howard shenanigans in Orlando) but from an X’s and O’s standpoint Van Gundy is definitely deserving of the coaching job. Whether he can handle all that he has taken on, only time will tell. One thing is sure, you have to the utmost confidence in yourself to take full control of a team that went 29-53 last season, and zero chemistry.
SVG was heavily courted by the Golden State Warriors, but ultimately chose the security in Detroit over instability in Golden State. Van Gundy wanted full control in Golden State, but was never offered it. After the way Mark Jackson was recently treated as the Warriors head man, it’s no wonder Van Gundy chose Detroit. Van Gundy will have security with the Pistons because he has full control, the only person that can fire him is the owner Tom Gores, and the way he was brought in indicates SVG should have plenty of time to turn the Pistons around.
At any rate stability is finally brought back to Detroit. A man with experience will be coaching the team, and hopefully the experience he brings in will help in the front office. There is no doubt that SVG has his work cut out for him. Charles Barkley went as far as to say “He got his hands full with them damn bums.” Whether you agree with Barkley or not, changes need to made, and hopefully Stan Van Gundy is the right man for the job.
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