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Report: Detroit Pistons want Stan Van Gundy back, but with changes

When the Detroit Pistons’ season ended, coach Stan Van Gundy and team owner Tom Gores were slated to meet to discuss the future of the team’s coach. Since taking over in 2014, Van Gundy has served as the team’s president and its coach, going 152-176 in that span with one playoff appearance — a 4-0 first-round loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Van Gundy and Gores recently met and the owner is willing to keep Van Gundy around. But, he is looking to make changes to the front office, which is something Van Gundy may not be open to:

Detroit Pistons Tom Gores wants Stan Van Gundy to return as coach for the final year of his contract, but would prefer for that scenario to include structural changes to the franchise’s front office, league sources told ESPN.

As president of basketball operations and head coach, Van Gundy has had full authority on player personnel and staffing — but Gores has suggested changes that, so far, Van Gundy is resisting, league sources said.

Van Gundy and Gores have been talking about a way to move forward together for two weeks, and some of that discussion has centered on the future role of general manager Jeff Bower, league sources said.

Bower — whom Van Gundy hired and trusts to run the day-to-day operations of his front office — is set to meet separately with Gores this week, league sources said.

Bower is in the final year of his contract.

Van Gundy has one year left on his deal and engineered the February trade with the LA Clippers for former All-Star forward Blake Griffin. Although Detroit got off to a hot start with Griffin, the Pistons stumbled down the stretch and missed the playoffs for the second straight season and third time in four seasons.

Overall, Detroit was 39-43 this season, but went 8-4 when point guard Reggie Jackson and Griffin played together. Additionally, the Pistons were 27-18 with Jackson, who suffered a severe ankle injury in late December and did not return until late March.

Van Gundy has been scrutinized for his recent work in the NBA Draft, which includes selecting Stanley Johnson over Devin Booker in 2015 and Luke Kennard instead of Donovan Mitchell in 2017.