Pistons' Hiring Of Casey Seen As Positive Step Toward Playoff Return
The Pistons hired former Raptors coach Dwane Casey to the same position, agreeing to a five-year deal averaging $7M per season with the "opportunity for incentives," according to a source cited by Vince Ellis of the DETROIT FREE PRESS. The deal is "similar" to the five-year, $35M deal the Pistons reached with Stan Van Gundy in '14. The Pistons are "turning to Casey to reverse the fortunes of a franchise that hasn’t won a playoff game" since '08. Casey "will likely report" to Senior Adviser of Basketball Operations Ed Stefanski (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 6/12). In Michigan, Ansar Khan noted the Pistons "chose Casey" over Spurs assistant Ime Udoka. Casey is "not the perfect candidate," but he "brings the most experience, credibility and respect" (MLIVE.com, 6/11).
POSITIVE STEP FORWARD: In Detroit, John Niyo writes hiring Casey "really was the best possible outcome at this point." After "all that time spent looking aimless" since firing Van Gundy after the season, the team "still managed to lure the guy best prepared to give ownership what it desperately wants right now, which is a relevant winner" (DETROITNEWS.com, 6/12). ESPN's Mike Greenberg noted the Pistons have had "seven head coaches" since they last won a playoff series in '08. ESPN's Jalen Rose noted the five-year deal for Casey will create some "stability" for the organization. Rose: "Terrific hire, perfect timing, right person for the job. He's really familiar with the Eastern Conference" ("Get Up!," ESPN, 6/12). Also in Detroit, Rod Beard writes Casey’s five-year deal "shows a commitment to the current roster and the belief that the team can get back to the playoffs quickly." He is "regarded as a players' coach" (DETROIT NEWS, 6/12). The DETROIT NEWS' Bob Wojnowski writes it is a "fine hire," as Casey is "widely respected." But fans will "see if the Pistons are forward thinking, or grasping from the past." To turn the team around, it is "about more than just the coach." There is "still uncertainty in the organization, and it’s unclear who will assume which roles, from president to general manager" (DETROIT NEWS, 6/12). Detroit-based WXYT-FM's Mike Sullivan: "Casey is a good coach. No doubt. But it absolutely baffles me why the Pistons hired a coach before a GM." WXYZ-ABC's Ryan Field: "Some call it a safe choice. I call it the right one" (TWITTER.com, 6/11).