Stan Van Gundy has become one of the most sought-after head coaches across the NBA, and the Detroit Pistons are upping the ante in an effort to lure him to Motown.
On Tuesday night ESPN's Marc Stein reported that the Pistons decided to go with Van Gundy:
ESPN sources say Pistons & Stan Van Gundy have reached agreement in principle to make SVG their new coach/president of basketball ops— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) May 14, 2014
Pistons & SVG reach agreement in principle on five-year deal worth estimated $35 mil and are on course for official announcement this week— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) May 14, 2014
Follow along below to see how the Pistons got to this point:
Early Tuesday, Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix reported the Golden State Warriors were close to a deal with the former Orlando Magic head coach, but Pistons owner Tom Gores has come forth with an offer sure to complicate Van Gundy's decision.
Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, who typically has his finger right on the pulse of the league, provided the rumor:
Stan Van Gundy's seriously considering Pistons offer of full control, torn on that opportunity vs. coaching Warriors, sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 13, 2014
Wojnarowski added further details in a later report on Tuesday night:
The Detroit Pistons are nearing an agreement to make Stan Van Gundy their president of basketball operations and coach, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Detroit has discussed a deal centered on five years and $35 million to deliver Van Gundy full autonomy to rebuild the franchise, league sources said.
"There are still some details to be worked out," a source with knowledge of the process told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday night.
As the Mercury News' Tim Kawakami added, the deal is more than Golden State is able to offer, likely making the Pistons the front-runners:
NBA source: Stan Van Gundy told the Warriors he wanted total control of basketball decisions. They declined. He could get that in DET.— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) May 13, 2014
Wojnarowski also passed along the terms of Van Gundy's potential contract in Detroit:
Stan Van Gundy and Detroit are negotiating on a five-year, $35M deal, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 13, 2014
Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News had more on the state of negotiations:
NBA source: #Pistons, Van Gundy, close to a deal. Could be consummated in the next 24-48 hours— Vincent Goodwill (@vgoodwill) May 13, 2014
It's not exactly a mystery as to why teams are coming hard at Van Gundy.
In seven-plus seasons as a head coach in the NBA, the 54-year-old has a combined regular-season winning percentage of .641 (371-208), has never had a losing season and took the Magic to the NBA finals during the 2008-09 campaign. He has made the NBA playoffs seven times.
One of the best defensive minds in the game, it was only a matter of time before Van Gundy, who was driven out of Orlando after the Dwight Howard fiasco in 2012, found his way back to an NBA bench.
Some, such as Andy Glockner, aren't convinced that completely handing over the keys to Van Gundy is a good idea, though:
Not sure I'd give any NBA coach full personnel control, but 0% chance it's one who doesn't trust analytics. #SVG— Andy Glockner (@AndyGlockner) May 13, 2014
Entering the 2013-14 season with a talented roster and lots of optimism, the Pistons stumbled to a 29-53 record in a weak Eastern Conference, and the horizon doesn't look all that promising.
Would Van Gundy be a good hire for the Pistons?
Josh Smith is on a dreadful contract, Greg Monroe is set to hit restricted free agency and point guard Brandon Jennings shot just 37.3 percent last season. Andre Drummond is a burgeoning superstar, but the Pistons have a bit of a mess to clean up when it comes to the roster.
Van Gundy has proven capable of getting results on the court, and we may soon figure out how he fares behind the scenes, as well.