The Detroit Pistons have hired Dwane Casey as their new coach.
Pistons owner Tom Gores announced the move Monday, calling Casey one of the most successful and respected coaches in the NBA.
Casey was given a five-year deal to lead the Pistons, two people familiar with the situation told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team didn’t release the terms of the contract.
Casey led the Toronto Raptors to a franchise-record 59 wins this year and helped them earn the top seed in the Eastern Conference for the first time. The NBA coach of the year finalist was fired with one year remaining on a three-year, $18-million extension shortly after Toronto was swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was 320-238 in seven seasons and is Toronto’s most-winning coach.
Detroit has been looking for a coach for more than month since firing Stan Van Gundy, who was also its president of basketball operations. Michigan coach John Beilein was a finalist for the job before withdrawing his name from consideration last week; San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ime Udoka also was a candidate.
With the Pistons, Casey has a lot of work to do.
The Pistons have made the playoffs only once in nine years after advancing at least to the Eastern Conference finals six straight years, winning the 2004 NBA title and falling a victory short of repeating as champions in 2005. They do not appear to have much flexibility to make significant changes this offseason.
Detroit acquired Blake Griffin in a blockbuster trade last season but that wasn’t enough to push Detroit into the playoffs. An injury to point guard Reggie Jackson derailed what looked like a promising season. If its players are healthy, the Pistons potentially have an intriguing nucleus with Griffin, Jackson and Andre Drummond.
The Pistons are still looking to hire someone to head their basketball operation. They brought in Ed Stefanski as a senior executive to assist in searches for a new coach and head of basketball operations.
1:20 p.m.: This article was updated after the Pistons announced the hire.
This article was originally published at 10:25 a.m.