Detroit Pistons hire ex-Raptors head coach Dwane Casey

Pistons hire new head coach

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 01: Head coach Dwane Casey of the Toronto Raptors shouts instructions to his team as they play the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on November 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

DETROIT – The Detroit Pistons have a new head coach, despite the fact the team doesn't have a general manager or team president.

The Pistons have hired former Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey. 

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the news Monday, saying it's a 5-year deal. Local 4 has confirmed the report. 

“Dwane is one of the most successful and highly respected coaches in our league,” said Pistons Owner Tom Gores.  “He’s a great communicator and a leader who will connect with our players and accelerate their growth. Having spent many hours with Dwane over the last few weeks, I’m confident he is the right person to get us to the next level.

“In our meetings he displayed great insight into what this roster can accomplish, and great passion about our city and the team’s role in bringing people together,” Mr. Gores said. “He’s an outstanding man with impressive character. He embodies our culture and will be a great representative for our franchise.”

“I am excited and honored to join the Detroit Pistons, a franchise with a championship history and a roster that is ready to win now,” Mr. Casey said.  “Tom really won me over with his vision for the team and the city. He clearly wants to deliver for the fans in Detroit and I believe in the strength of his leadership to do so.

“I’m confident that this team has the pieces in place to compete at a very high level,” Mr. Casey added. “There is a lot of talent, a solid core and some exciting young players eager to get better. We’re getting to work right away on the things that will make us all successful.”

Casey led the Raptors to a franchise-record 59 wins this season as Toronto earned the top seed in the Eastern Conference for the first time. He posted a 320-238 record in seven seasons and is the franchise’s winningest coach.

Casey was named coach of the year by the National Basketball Coaches Association, an award voted on by NBA head coaches.

Under Casey, the Raptors won four Atlantic Division titles and advanced to the playoffs in five consecutive seasons. But Toronto couldn’t get past Cleveland, losing to LeBron James and the Cavs in each of the past three playoffs.

The Pistons interviewed several candidates for the job, including Michigan basketball coach John Beilein, TNT's Kenny Smith and Spurs assistant Ime Udoka. 

Detroit parted ways with head coach and president Stan Van Gundy in May.

Van Gundy led the Pistons to a 39-43 record this season, missing the playoffs for a straight straight year. He posted a record of 152-176 overall in his four seasons in Detroit, guiding the Pistons to the playoffs only in 2015-16, when they lost in the first round.

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