The Detroit Pistons have agreed to a five-year deal with former Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. This past season, Detroit traded for All-Star forward Blake Griffin, who they are hoping to build their roster around alongside Andre Drummond. His departure from Toronto was a hard decision for Raptors president Masai Ujiri, and Casey being favored for a new role quickly is hardly surprising, although he could have stayed at home earning $6.5 million and waiting for another opportunity next summer.
Detroit has been looking for a coach for a month since firing Stan Van Gundy, who was also its president of basketball operations. Casey also coached the Timberwolves from 2005-07, where he amassed a 53-69 record. "He embodies our culture and will be a great representative for our franchise". The 61-year-old finished his tenure as the team's winningest coach but could never get it over the hump in the playoffs. He has five years of coaching experience in Japan and has spent time around the game in Europe. But Toronto couldn't get past Cleveland, losing to LeBron James and the Cavs in each of the past three playoffs.
Some Detroit Pistons fans have been very critical of Tom Gores for taking so long to find a head coach and general manager. Among the reported candidates for those jobs are the current Nets executive Trajan Langdon, Stefanski's former Memphis Grizzlies colleague Tayshaun Prince and the broadcaster Brent Barry.
Once the Pistons officially hire a coach, Toronto will be left with the league's only coaching vacancy.