Former Blazers coach Nate McMillan is at the top of many lists to coach the Pistons. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
The Detroit Pistons are on the search again, for their fourth coach since the end of the 2007-08 season, the last year they made the Eastern Conference finals.
Pistons president Joe Dumars is spearheading the search, with the expectation that 24 months from now the franchise won't have to go down this road yet again.
News: The Pistons have a list of candidates that includes former Seattle (now Oklahoma City) and Portland coach Nate McMillan, former Utah coach Jerry Sloan and Miami assistant David Fizdale.
Views: This isn't a great crop of coaches; the field, to this point, is very thin, with no Larry Browns or Phil Jacksons just waiting in the wings.
McMillan's ability to roll with changing rosters in Portland, due to the annual injuries of Brandon Roy and Greg Oden, certainly makes him top of just about anybody's list to this point.
This is Dumars' show, no doubt, and it probably makes him sick to his stomach to see the manner in which Knicks' coach Mike Woodson has inspired the role players in New York, lamenting the fact his original choice isn't here.
As for Fizdale, the Heat assistant hasn't been approached yet by the Pistons, but the Heat will grant permission if the Pistons come calling.
News: With no clear cut favorite, it's going to take a lot for a coach to distinguish himself.
Views: Look to Los Angeles Lakers for the best example of a good coach for the wrong team. Mike D'Antoni's fast style doesn't fit with the Lakers' personnel of bigs, and the results haven't been great.
The Pistons must decide what kind of team they're building, what kind of style will become their signature, and from that, one can surmise the list of coaches who best fit that ideal style.
Building around Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe is a given; but the type of team Dumars envisions acquiring through the draft, trade or free agency is just as important as who's on the sidelines. Think "Best Fit", not necessarily "Best Coach".
News: Lawrence Frank was fired after a 23-59 record this season. With a less-than-inspiring field of replacements, staying with the status quo could have been the safe move.
Views: The bar was low for Frank this season. The last thing Pistons owner Tom Gores wanted to do was to fire his hand-picked head coach two years into it, and it wasn't because Dumars convinced him Frank was never the right choice.
Platinum Equity representatives Phil Norment and Bob Wentworth saw the effect Frank's approach, negative demeanor and micromanaging had on everyone. All Frank had to do was show minimal improvement and he would be returning for his third season but at every crossroad, Frank failed miserably.
News: Suns interim coach and former Pistons guard Lindsey Hunter was granted permission to speak with Detroit.
Views: Hunter was considered for the Orlando coaching job last summer, which ultimately went to Jacque Vaughn, another former NBA point guard.
With general manager Lance Blanks no longer in Phoenix, Hunter's biggest ally went out the door and Hunter's status is unknown.
"It's just an interview, like any other," said Hunter to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. "They (the Pistons) have a coaching opening and I was fortunate that they'd consider me. Hopefully, I'll continue to gain interest from other people."
Whether the Pistons truly would consider the former Piston or not is unknown, but on the surface, it doesn't hurt Hunter's profile around the league by giving him an interview. He and Dumars are close, dating back to Hunter's playing days that began in Detroit in 1993, but it doesn't mean Dumars is just going to up and hire a friend just because.
News: Gores hasn't spoken out about Frank's firing, and it doesn't appear he will. With Frank clearly being his guy, he's letting Dumars take the lead this time around.
Views: It doesn't mean Gores won't be involved, and it's likely he'll have to give the final approval before anything is finalized.