Detroit Pistons president of basketball operations search: Latest we hear

CHICAGO — The Detroit Pistons could reach a hiring decision on their president of basketball operations within the next few weeks, league sources said. The athlete.

Whoever the Pistons sign for the position, they won’t have the advantage of a top-three pick at their disposal, as the organization fell to fifth for the third straight year during the NBA lottery on Sunday. But despite this, Detroit has been talking to some promising candidates to fill the position, which has been vacant since 2018.

Part of the delay, league sources say, is that Detroit appears interested in competing with Minnesota Timberwolves CEO Tim Connelly, whose team is locked in a second-round playoff with Connelly’s former team, defending champion Denver. Fragments.

Whether Connelly returns to the Timberwolves or not, league sources say he will likely opt out of the final year of his contract. It seems likely that Connelly will return to Minnesota, but if Pistons owner Tom Gores is willing to offer nearly $15 million annually, that could be enough to keep him away.

The Pistons were denied permission to interview Milwaukee’s Jon Horst last week, league and team sources said The athlete. The Bucks were likely preparing to acquire assets from Detroit in order to grab Horst, who signed a multi-year contract with Milwaukee in 2021. However, the Pistons decided to move on to other candidates.

League sources say New Orleans’ Trajan Langdon, Dallas’ Dennis Lindsay and Chicago’s Mark Eversley, among others, have established themselves as viable targets for the role. The athlete.

Langdon was a scout for the San Antonio Spurs from 2012-15 before becoming assistant general manager of the Brooklyn Nets in 2016. He held that position until 2019 until he became general manager of the New Orleans Pelicans, where he helped build the team. The Pelicans are one of the most interesting young teams.

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Lindsay is currently in a consulting role with the Dallas Mavericks. He held several roles with the Utah Jazz from 2012 to 2021, including general manager and executive vice president of basketball operations.

Eversley, the general manager of the Chicago Bulls, was on the Pistons’ radar in 2020 before they hired general manager Troy Weaver. Eversley has worked in NBA front offices for more than 15 years, including stops in Toronto, Washington and Philadelphia before Chicago.

Could the No. 5 pick be more valuable than originally thought?

The Pistons fell as low as they could in one of the weakest draft classes in recent memory. However, given the mix of prospects at the top, could the No. 5 pick be a little more valuable than originally thought?

In talking to people around the league before the NBA lottery, it was thought that the No. 5 pick in this draft would be the equivalent of the ninth-to-12th pick in the regular class. Although this sounds about right, it’s worth noting that since there are no clearly defined prospect tiers this time around, teams could look to the fifth pick as, say, the second or third pick. Of course, this is done on the assumption that there will be a few teams interested in moving up. In talking to people around the league after the Pistons’ fate was revealed, a few of them said they could see the No. 5 pick being valued decently if teams did, in fact, like a prospect or two big enough to move up.

Let me explain.

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There is a world where the front office and evaluators see prospects expected to join the top five or seven all at the same level or with very little separation. The difference in rookie pay between the No. 1 and No. 2 picks versus the No. 5 pick is quite significant. For example, Victor Wimbanyama, the No. 1 overall pick in 2023, will make between $12 million and $16 million annually for the remainder of his rookie deal. No. 2 Scott Henderson earned $9.7 million in his first year and will make between $10 and $13 million annually from next season onward. Osar Thompson, who the Pistons take fifth overall in 2023, made $7.9 million last season and will make between $8.3 million and $11.1 million annually during the term of his rookie deal. So, there’s a difference of a few million dollars when examining teams’ rookie contracts based on where they pick them.

It wouldn’t be far-fetched to think that a team that wants to move up believes it can take the best player in the 2024 NBA Draft at No. 5 instead of No. 2 or No. 3 — and maybe not even. 1 – While saving money in the process.

Just something to chew on.

(Top photo of Timberwolves exec Tim Connelly: David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

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