One thing seems clear in the Detroit Pistons coaching search: They are looking at top assistant coaches to promote to the big chair.
Except for the rumors of former Celtics’ coach Ime Udoka being in the mix.
Monday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski added current Nets’ assistant Brian Keefe to the list of names the Pistons are speaking to.
Detroit has received permission to interview Brooklyn assistant Brian Keefe for franchise's head coaching job, sources tell ESPN. Keefe worked with Pistons GM Troy Weaver on OKC's coaching staff for several years. Keefe's also been an assistant with Knicks and Lakers.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 17, 2023
That list already includes the following:
• Kevin Ollie, the 13-year NBA veteran player who coached UConn to a national title and in recent years has worked with Overtime Elite.
• Charles Lee, a top Milwaukee Bucks assistant and one of the guys at the front of the line of assistant coaches considered ready to jump to a head coaching spot by front-office people around the league.
• Adrian Griffin, a top assistant with the Raptors also considered for other head coaching jobs.
• Chris Quinn, the six-year NBA veteran who has been Heat assistant coach under Erik Spoelstra for eight years.
• Jarron Collins, the former NBA player and current Pelicans’ assistant who has three rings as an assistant coach on Steve Kerr’s staff in Golden State.
• Ime Udoka, who led the Celtics to the NBA Finals as a rookie head coach but was not on the bench this season following a controversy surrounding an inappropriate relationship.
There likely will be more names in the mix, Pistons GM Troy Weaver is casting a wide net. Marc Stein reported there is buzz that Weaver has a soft spot for Ollie and Lee.
Detroit is not going to be a pure rebuilding coaching job. While they tanked their way into the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes this season, the Pistons entered the season with a roster they thought could compete for a play-in spot. That came apart at the seams when Cade Cunningham was injured for the season. Still, the team held on to Bojan Bogdanovic through the trade deadline partly because they want a veteran around to help the team make a push up into the play-in/playoffs next year with a big front line and Cunningham running the show. Plus whoever they draft come June.