The Detroit Pistons have filled their head coaching vacancy, hiring former Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy, the team announced in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
Van Gundy will also fulfil the role of head of basketball operations, similar to Doc Rivers’ position in Los Angeles. This will give him the final say on all coaching, scouting and player personnel decisions.
The former Magic coach is also apparently considering hiring Otis Smith as GM. Smith worked with Van Gundy during his Orlando days.
Van Gundy gained plaudits for his work with a young Dwight Howard, helping craft a team around the dominant big man and putting together a run to the 2009 NBA Finals.
There are parallels with Howard and current Pistons big man Andre Drummond. Drummond holds several of the skills and the necessary athleticism to be considered a younger version of Howard, something that surely played a part in enticing Van Gundy out of his coaching hiatus.