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Pistons to target Michigan State's Tom Izzo?

By Royce Young | NBA writer

Tom Thibodeau says, again, Derrick Rose is done for the year. (USATSI)
Tom Izzo to the Pistons? (USATSI)

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After firing Mo Cheeks midseason, the Pistons will be opening up a coaching search after the season. And one name to potentially watch is Michigan State's Tom Izzo, according to USA Today.

Pistons owner Tom Gores is a Michigan State alum, but that doesn't guarantee anything. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert also is a Spartan and pursued Izzo in 2010, but came up empty.

College coaches making the jump to the NBA don't have a great track record, but Izzo is obviously one of the most well respected basketball minds in the game. He has built a power in East Lansing, and has a unique ability to always produce competitive tournament teams no matter where their seed is.

Would that translate, though? With other past failures like Mike Montgomery, Lon Kruger, P.J. Carlesimo, John Calipari, Tim Floyd, Rick Pitino and Leonard Hamiliton, the history doesn't suggest success. Currently Brad Stevens is trying to buck the trend in Boston, but it's too early to tell.

Eventually though, Izzo might be ready to try something new. He's been at Michigan State for almost 20 years now and might be intrigued at a new challenge. He's making somewhere around $3.7 million, so if the Pistons want him, they'd have to pay well.

But seeing as they're under new-ish ownership and trying desperately to dig out of a hole, if Gores feels Izzo is his man, he'll probably pay up for him. Then it's just a question of if that would be enough to pull Izzo out of the comfort of East Lansing.

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