The Detroit Pistons could enter the 2020-21 season with a full-time general manager after two years of interim leadership. Until now, they have been operating with Ed Stefanski as a senior advisor.
Going without a general manager for long is not common practice for a professional sports team. The Detroit Pistons are the only NBA team without a permanent GM. Ed Stefanski has served as a senior adviser since 2018–and the de facto decision-maker since Jeff Bower’s departure.
Originally hired to build the front office, Stefanski assumed most of the traditional duties of GM: hiring Dwane Casey as head coach, drafting Sekou Doumbouya, and trading away Andre Drummond, to name a few. For an interim-GM, Stefanski has done an admirable job keeping the team afloat.
It appears, however, the Pistons will not go without a GM for much longer. According to ESPN’s inimitable news source, Adrian Wojnarowski, the Pistons will begin interviewing candidates soon, possibly as early as this week. As yet, these candidates are still unknown.
More from Detroit Jock City
- Tigers Sign Manager A.J. Hinch to Long-Term Extension
- Lions vs. Bears Week 14 Opening Odds Disrespect Detroit
- Former Tigers Celebrate Jim Leyland Hall of Fame Call
- This Pistons Team Could be the Worst in Detroit Sports History
- 4 Free Agents Tigers Should Sign During Winter Meetings
The popular opinion in Detroit would have to favor Chauncey Billups. As many remember, Billups became a local hero as the point guard of the 2004 championship team, helping to bring the most recent NBA title to Detroit.
As stellar of a player as he was, would he be a make a good executive? The problem is, we do not know.
After retiring in 2014, Billups joined the national television broadcast with ESPN and has since joined the Los Angeles Clippers organization as well.
He has remained involved with the basketball world but still has no experience in charge of a team.
Some former stars shine as GMs, but others do not necessarily have what it takes. The aforementioned Dumars saw both sides of this: he built the 2004 championship team. Still, he left somewhat disgracefully ten years later after making some highly questionable decisions that financially handcuffed the team.
If Billups were able to turn around the current Pistons, it would be another touchstone in his legacy. But if he stumbled in his first opportunity, it could be disastrous for both him and the team.
Another, perhaps safer option would be Brent Barry, currently the vice president of the Spurs organization. Like Billups, Barry spent time in the national media on the TNT and NBA TV broadcast teams.
If you recall, the Pistons showed a keen interest in him when they were first in this position two years ago. Now, he has the benefit two years of experience working on a team with R.C. Buford–the longest-tenured general manager in the NBA.
Barry has no existing attachment to Detroit, so he would start fresh in a time when the team desperately needs a rebuild. Of course, he comes from a basketball family: his father, Rick, is a Hall-of-Famer, and interestingly, his brother, Jon, played for the Pistons from 2001 to 2003.
Regardless of who they decide to hire, the Detroit Pistons will ideally have a full-time general manager in place by the time of Draft, whenever that may be.