It’s apparent that first-year general manager Troy Weaver likes what he sees in his 64-year old bench boss, so much so that he’s willing to give him an extension taking him through the 2023-24 season.
The youthful Detroit Pistons have responded exceptionally well to coach Casey in the first full year of the organization’s rebuild. Night in and night out, despite often losing, the Detroit Pistons remain competitive and fun to watch, unlike most other Detroit sports teams.
Casey had two years remaining on his original five-year deal, so this is virtually a one-year extension.
Under Dwane Casey’s watchful eye, the young Detroit Pistons have steadily improved all season long.
Detroit’s 20-50 overall record in 2020-21 does not tell the whole story.
Casey has done a tremendous job developing this youthful roster as the season has grown old. Take the seventh overall pick, Killian Hayes, for example.
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Early on, Hayes appeared over-matched, that while having Derrick Rose as a mentor. An injury is never a good thing, but it seemed to allow Hayes to settle in as a professional. Perhaps being thrown right into the starting lineup from day one with being a top-ten draft choice adding additional pressure, overwhelmed the youngster.
After resting and rehabbing the torn labrum in his hip, Hayes has returned with a vengeance. He looks like a completely different player. He’s not only oozing with confidence; he’s regularly displaying elite court vision while running the point for the Pistons. A lot of that has to do with Casey’s calming approach over the course of the year, even with Hayes on the sideline as a spectator.
The Detroit Pistons are also getting enormous production from a pair of first-round picks in Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart. The 22-year old Bey is averaging 12.1 points and 4.5 boards per game in his rookie campaign. Bey has also set the rookie record formally held by Steph Curry and Allen Iverson, scoring five or more three-pointers in a game 11 times so far in 2021. Iverson and Curry each finished their rookie season with nine.
The rookie center, Stewart, is averaging 7.9 points and 6.7 boards this season. Casey has also gotten plenty of production from a reclamation project such as Josh Jackson and the emergence of players like Frank Jackson and Saben Lee.
That, in addition to Jerami Grant excelling as the team leader, basically averaging career-highs across the board suggests the future is bright with Casey patrolling Detroit’s sideline.
"“Dwane’s ability to adapt and lead us through a challenging but very exciting year of growth and development has further established his place as one of the most highly respected coaches in the NBA,” Pistons owner Tom Gores said in a statement Wednesday. “He is fully committed to the restoration of the Pistons where his competitiveness, teaching ability and developmental acumen can be seen in the growth of our young players.“I eagerly anticipate watching the future of this team and the upward trajectory of the franchise under his continued leadership as we strive to compete for championships.”"
The 2017 coach of the year has an 81-137 overall record in three seasons with the Detroit Pistons.
In 12 seasons as an NBA head coach, Casey has an overall record of 454-444 with stops in Minnesota, Toronto, and Detroit.