The former Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey has accepted the Detroit Pistons’ offer of their head coaching vacancy, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions.
The Pistons opened talks with Casey last week to secure him as the replacement for the ousted Stan Van Gundy, according to the people, who were not authorized to discuss the talks publicly.
Casey will sign a five-year deal with the Pistons, according to ESPN.
Casey, 61, was fired by the Raptors after they were swept in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs by Cleveland. Toronto earned the East’s top seed entering the postseason by winning a franchise-record 59 games during the regular season. Casey also coached the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2005 to 2007.
Van Gundy was fired in May with one year left on his contract to serve as the Pistons’ coach and team president. Detroit earned only one playoff berth in Van Gundy’s four seasons, prompting the owner Tom Gores and his top aide Arn Tellem to commission separate searches for a new front office team and a new coach despite Van Gundy’s wish to stay on in a coaching-only role.
Other candidates who advanced to meetings with Gores in the final round of Detroit’s search include the University of Michigan coach John Beilein, the longtime broadcaster Kenny Smith and the San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ime Udoka.
The Pistons recently hired the former Nets general manager Ed Stefanski to lead their search for new front-office executives. 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.
In a series of ESPN interviews late last week in conjunction with the N.B.A. finals, Casey spoke optimistically of the Pistons’ job and potentially working with the Detroit frontcourt stars Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond.
Once the Pistons officially hire a coach, Toronto will be left with the league’s only coaching vacancy.
Atlanta (Lloyd Pierce), Charlotte (James Borrego), Milwaukee (Mike Budenholzer), Orlando (Steve Clifford), Phoenix (Igor Kokoskov) and the Knicks (David Fizdale) have also hired new coaches since the end of the regular season. Memphis also elevated J.B. Bickerstaff from interim coach to full-time head coach.
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