The Detroit Pistons are hopefully heading in a positive direction. According to reports, the team has reached an agreement with Stan Van Gundy to take over as head coach.
Van Gundy signed a five-year deal worth roughly $35 million to be the team’s latest head coach, while he is also expected to be named the team president and oversee all basketball operations for the team.
Van Gundy enters Detroit with good experience and a history for helping his teams execute at a high level on the offensive end of the floor. He’ll certainly have his work cut out for him heading into the 2014-15 NBA season, however, as he has to deal with headcases Brandon Jennings and Josh “Smoove” Smith.
While Van Gundy has been out of basketball for the past two seasons, he was highly successful in a two-year stint with the Miami Heat, as well as a five-year run with the Orlando Magic. Van Gundy helped guide the Magic to an NBA Finals loss in 2008, and coached the Magic to five straight playoff appearances in his five years with the team.
Van Gundy eventually had a falling out with star center Dwight Howard, who many speculated was the reason behind Van Gundy’s departure. In fact, Van Gundy even admitted to the media that someone from “management” had leaked the information. Van Gundy was subsequently let go, which caused a domino effect that ended with Dwight Howard being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers and GM Otis Smith also being replaced in the front office.
While it will be an uphill battle to shape the Pistons back into serious contenders, Van Gundy is arguably one of the best coaches they could have landed. Van Gundy also has loads of talent to work with, as Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond can be beasts down low and point guard Brandon Jennings can dominate in spurts, as well.