Hiring Dwane Casey as coach is just the start of what will be a busy and important offseason for the Detroit Pistons, wrote Rod Beard of the Detroit News.
While the Pistons believe the nucleus of power forward Blake Griffin, center Andre Drummond and point guard Reggie Jackson is a good start, Casey intends to create a fresh, winning mindset.
Griffin, Drummond, Jackson all work out in Los Angeles, as do small forward Stanley Johnson and shooting guard Luke Kennard. Casey will visit with all this week, Beard wrote.
“It’s a good start for Casey, who is regarded as a players’ coach, to start making so inroads with the nucleus of the team, to impart his vision for the path forward. Getting buy-in from Griffin, Drummond, Jackson and Johnson could go a long way in winning over the rest of the locker room before the season starts. Casey will build his own individual ties to players, but it doesn’t hurt to start with a small group first,” Beard wrote.
Along with that, Casey has to fill out his coaching staff — and the Pistons must complete their basketball operations department after hiring Ed Stefanski (previously of the Memphis Grizzlies) as senior adviser.
The Pistons don’t have a first-round pick, but they are likely to try to add some pieces via trades and free agency. Former No. 2 overall draft pick and NBA journeyman Derrick Williams, who took part in a Pistons mini-camp last week, could be one cap-friendly option.
“The summer months will bring some change, but in the Pistons’ case, likely not a complete overhaul with the roster as it has been with the coaching staff and front office,” Beard wrote.
Despite leading the Raptors to a franchise-best record of 56-26 and the top seed in the Eastern Conference, Casey was fired following the season. The Raptors were swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the playoffs.
The Pistons finished 39-43 and missed the playoffs under Stan Van Gundy this past season. Van Gundy was let go in May.