Pistons hire Stefanski as senior executive, tag Casey as head coaching target

Associated Press • May 25, 2018 at 12:19 AM

The Detroit Pistons have made a hire to help with their search for a new president of basketball operations and head coach.

And they know who they want as the head coach, too.

Veteran NBA executive Ed Stefanski signed a three-year contract to serve as executive in the Pistons organization and will report directly to Tom Gores as a special advisor, the team announced Thursday.

"The big thing right now ... is that we need a head coach and a GM," Stefanski told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. "Those will be two items that we will probably do simultaneously."

ESPN's Wojnarowski, citing unidentified league sources, reports that Stefanski -- with almost 20 years of NBA executive experience -- plans to make former Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey his primary target in the coaching search.

Stefanski, 64, was responsible for helping bring Casey to Toronto in 2011 as executive vice president of president of basketball operations. Casey went 320-238 in seven seasons in Toronto and reached the playoffs five times, but was fired earlier this month after the Raptors were eliminated in the Eastern Conference semifinals for a second straight year.

Most recently, Stefanski served as vice president of player personnel for the Memphis Grizzlies, who reached the playoffs three times during his time there. He also had stints in Philadelphia (2007-11) and New Jersey (1998-2007), where he was responsible for leading the Nets' climb atop the Eastern Conference.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, Stefanski played three seasons on the Penn basketball team, coached by former Pistons head coach Chuck Daly.

According to Wojnarowski, three names have surfaced for potential roles in a reshaped Pistons front office: former NBA player and Brooklyn Nets assistant general manager Trajan Langdon; TV analyst and NBA vet Brent Barry; and former Piston Tayshaun Prince.

Langdon interviewed for a job with the Pistons prior to the Stefanski hire but remains a candidate, Wojnarowski reports.

The Pistons and former head coach and president of basketball operations, Stan Van Gundy, parted ways on May 7. General manager Jeff Bower remains a candidate for a role in the Pistons' new front office, as is the NBA's KiKi VanDeWeghe, Houston's Gersson Rosas and Miami's Shane Battier, Wojnarowski previously reported.

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