When Stan Van Gundy took over as president and coach of the Detroit Pistons, there were reports he would hire former Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith to join him in the front office to help with day-to-day dealings. It looks like instead of helping out in the front office of the Pistons the plan is to have Smith help on the sidelines of their new D-League affiliate. The Pistons have a new D-League affiliate in Grand Rapids, Michigan starting up and need a coach.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com is reporting the Pistons are in "advanced negotiations" to make Smith the coach of that D-League affiliate. A deal is not done but it's close to an agreement between the two sides.
The Detroit Pistons are in advanced negotiations to hire former Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith to coach their NBA D-League franchise, according to NBA coaching sources.
Sources told ESPN.com that Pistons president and coach Stan Van Gundy has targeted Smith -- his former boss and close associate in Orlando -- to move to the coaching side of the business by taking charge of Detroit's new D-League expansion team, which will begin play this season in nearby Grand Rapids, Mich.
One source said Friday that a deal is not done but that the sides are closing in on an agreement.
Smith has no prior coaching experience known. After playing in the NBA from 1986 to 1992, he had a three-year break from playing before signing a contract to play in the Swedish League. After a couple of community-based roles with the Orlando Magic and then the Golden State Warriors, Smith returned to the Magic organization in 2003. He was named general manager of the Magic in 2006.
In 2007, Smith traded to second round picks to the Miami Heat to bring Van Gundy on as coach. Under Van Gundy and Smith, the Magic went 259-135. Smith stepped down from his position as general manager on the same day Van Gundy was fired as coach in 2012.