Former University of Kentucky basketball player and most recently the head coach of the Toronto Raptors, Dwane Casey, has agreed to a five-year deal with the Detroit Pistons to become the team’s new head coach, according to ESPN.
Casey was fired from the Raptors in May after being swept by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Casey was the Raptors head coach since 2011, leading them to the most successful five-year stretch in franchise history, including a franchise-record 59 wins this past season.
Dwane Casey has reached an agreement on a 5-year deal to become the next coach of the Detroit Pistons, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 11, 2018
After being let go from the Raptors, something that I previously wrote about, the consensus was that he wouldn’t be on the head coaching market for long and exactly one month later, he has found himself as the lead man on the bench once again. Casey has been the favored candidate for a couple weeks now and after the University of Michigan’s head coach, Jon Beilein, used the Pistons head coaching search to leverage his way into a contract extension with the Wolverines, it was clear that Casey was the presumed favorite.
Casey will now take over a Pistons team stuck in basketball purgatory. They have two high-caliber All-Stars with Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond, but little cap room to work with and a roster not built for success in the modern NBA. Casey will surely have his work cut out for him, just as he did when he arrived in Toronto seven years ago. He has pieces to work with (Reggie Jackson, Griffin, Drummond) and young talent that has shown signs of potential development (Luke Kennard, Stanley Johnson, and Reggie Bullock), although no first-round draft pick in this year’s draft, which was sent to the Los Angeles Clippers in the Blake Griffin deal (a pick that will possibly be in the Kevin Knox range).
Casey won at least 50 games in his last three seasons with the Raptors and the Pistons are hoping he can replicate that same type of success sooner rather than later. Casey and the Pistons will likely build around Griffin for the future, so it’ll be interesting to see what moves they plan on making during this offseason, especially with all of the front office moves they’re making. However, the Pistons now have two All-Stars and an experienced, high-level coach.
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