Pistons’ Gores-Van Gundy meeting reportedly pushed back

Rod Beard
The Detroit News
Stan Van Gundy

Apparently, the waiting game for Stan Van Gundy will continue, at least through the weekend.

Pistons owner Tom Gores said last week that he planned to meet with Van Gundy, the Pistons’ team president and head coach, late this week, but that meeting looks to have been pushed back.

According to a report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Gores and Van Gundy will meet next week.

“Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores and President/Coach Stan Van Gundy will meet next week to discuss Van Gundy’s future, league sources tell ESPN,” Wojnarowski posted on Twitter on Thursday night. “Van Gundy has one year left on his contract. There had been an initial plan to meet late this week.”

Van Gundy led the Pistons to a 39-43 record this season, missing the playoffs for the third time in his four-year tenure. He has one year remaining on his contract, but Gores could decide to go in a different direction with the franchise, replacing Van Gundy in either — or both — of his roles or make subtle tweaks in the organizational structure.

Most of the front office and coaching staff are finishing their contracts this summer, so some of their deals likely would also be renewed as well if Van Gundy sticks around.

“We have to make some changes; I’m just not sure what they are,” Gores said last week. “He’s been working (throughout the season) so I need to hear from Stan. I can tell you this: He’s an extremely dedicated man and he’s been good for our franchise — that, I know for sure.”

Van Gundy took over a moribund franchise four years ago, one that hadn’t reached the playoffs the five previous seasons. The Pistons got there in 2015-16 but have been ravaged by injuries to Reggie Jackson the past two seasons.

They got a jolt with the acquisition of Blake Griffin in January, but after Jackson missed 37 games, they never got back on the right track, following a surprising 14-6 start.

If Gores parts ways with Van Gundy, the Pistons would be the fourth team looking for a head coach, joining the Suns, Hornets and Knicks. Those three are looking to interview coaching candidates and the Pistons are the closest of the bunch to making the playoffs, but also could be looking to bring in a new general manager and team president.

Van Gundy has said he’d like to return for his final season, but it’s unclear what changes Gores might ask him to make in order to improve on the record.


Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard