Joe Dumars' tenure as the Detroit Pistons' president of basketball operations is officially over. With the search for his replacement underway, a number of candidates' names have risen to the fore—including former Piston Grant Hill and NBA senior vice president of basketball operations Kiki VandDeWeghe, per Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick of USA Today.
But one name to watch is former Toronto Raptors president and general manager Bryan Colangelo. According to Sportsnet's Michael Grange, "After a year on hiatus multiple NBA sources have told Sportsnet that he’s close to joining the fray again and is a leading candidate to run the Detroit Pistons."
Colangelo spent 11 years as the Phoenix Suns' general manager and would bring a wealth of experience to the Pistons job. He was named Executive of the Year in 2007 and is widely regard as one of the best in the business.
The veteran front-office guru recently made headlines with an admission that he "tried to tank a couple of years ago."
Per Yahoo! Sports' Dan Devine, Colangelo explained, "I didn’t come out and say, ‘Coach, you have to lose games.’ I never said that. I wanted to establish a winning tradition and a culture and all of that, but I wanted him to do it in the framework of playing and developing the young players. With that comes losing."
Colangelo likely wouldn't be tasked with tanking in Detroit. The organization had high hopes coming into the season and will be looking to turn its improved roster into a playoff team.
As Zillgitt and Amick noted:
This job has interest because there are talented pieces, including second-year big man Andre Drummond, who averaged 13.5 points and 13.2 rebounds and shot 62.3% from the field, forward Josh Smith, forward-center Greg Monroe, who could be restricted free agent this summer, guard Brandon Jennings and forward Kyle Singler.
Colangelo's first order of business would be determining whether those pieces actually fit together. Results this season weren't encouraging: The Pistons finished with a 29-53 record and looked challenged on both ends of the floor.
An offseason spent together may go a long way in curing what ails the Pistons. On the other hand, Smith may not be an ideal solution at the small forward spot, leaving a decision to be made on whether he should remain part of the roster's core going forward.
There's a lot to like about the Pistons gig, especially for a success story like Colangelo's. But it will entail plenty of work in the short term.