The Pistons hired super agent Arn Tellem as a business-side executive in 2015, and his primary responsibility became the stadium situation. He resolved that by overseeing a move to a new downtown arena.
What’s next for Tellem?
Rumors have swirled about him taking over basketball operations, supplanting president-coach Stan Van Gundy in the front-office. With Detroit (29-35) freefalling out of playoff contention, rumors have even emerged about Van Gundy’s status as coach.
Van Gundy, via Rod Beard of The Detroit News:
“Nothing has been said, so I won’t even comment on that,” Van Gundy told The Detroit News Friday. “I don’t have any idea. It’s Tom’s team and he’ll make whatever decisions he wants to make and we’ll go from there.
“Nothing has been broached with me, so I’m not even going to comment on it.”
File this under: What else is he supposed to say? Even if owner Tom Gores informed him he’d lose his presidency, Van Gundy probably wouldn’t address it now.
Van Gundy appeared to be in charge of the Blake Griffin trade. The results have been underwhelming, but Van Gundy might argue it’s unfair to assess him with Reggie Jackson injured and Griffin still learning the playbook.
That’s more likely to fly for coaching, where Van Gundy has a lengthy track record of success with the Magic and Heat. His front-office record, which began in Detroit, is far less impressive.
It’s far too soon to close the book on any of his first-round picks – Stanley Johnson, Henry Ellenson and Luke Kennard – but none have made a mark. Van Gundy has also handed out too many expensive contracts to borderline rotation players – Jon Leuer, Langston Galloway and Boban Marjanovic.
All that squeezes a team trying to put a supporting cast around Griffin and Andre Drummond. Those mistakes might eventually squeeze out Van Gundy.
The Griffin trade particularly looked desperate, and it’s hard to separate Van Gundy’s job security – in the fourth year of a five-year contract – from the deal.
Maybe it’ll buy him more time. I’d guess Van Gundy will return to the Pistons next season, though I’m far more confident about as coach than as president, and I’m not that certain on coaching.
But, even if he won’t publicly respond to it, Van Gundy is facing increasing scrutiny.