Detroit Pistons, Dwane Casey agree to extension through 2023-24 season

Detroit Free Press

Dwane Casey received a major vote of confidence from Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver in March. The early returns of the rebuild have been promising so far, and Casey’s reputation as a talent developer has held true.

All four 2020 draft picks — Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart, Saddiq Bey and Saben Lee — have flourished this season. Sekou Doumbouya, Detroit’s lone 2019 first-round pick, is playing some of the best basketball of his career right now. The Pistons view Casey as the right person to guide the franchise forward, and gave him an even bigger vote of confidence on Wednesday.

Casey and the Pistons have agreed to a contract that will keep him around through the 2023-24 season, a league source confirmed. It’s a one-year extension for Casey, who originally signed a five-year contract with the franchise in 2018.

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“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 provided to the Detroit Free Press. “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.”

Weaver, who joined the Pistons last June, arrived two years after Casey was hired. But the two men quickly became acclimated with one another, and have worked in conjunction to reboot the team after the previous core of players failed to win a playoff game in 2019. It was Casey who identified Mason Plumlee, who is having a career season, as a veteran who could fill a large role both on the floor and as a mentor behind the scenes.

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“We talk every day, we communicate every day,” Casey said of Weaver in March. “We’re on the same page as we go forward with this challenge. We know what our goals are, know what individual players need to get better. We’ve been collaborative all the way from top to bottom and it’s been great. I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem asking him for what I need or what we need and that type of thing.”

Now, Casey will get an additional year to help see Detroit’s rebuild through. They have one of the NBA’s worst records this season at 20-5, but the team doesn’t plan on undergoing an extended rebuild. The goal is to compete for a championship as soon as reasonably possible.

And with four rookies who have shown promise, along with Jerami Grant, in tow, there’s optimism that the franchise will see brighter days sooner rather than later.

“I’m really pleased, can’t say enough about Dwane and his staff,” Weaver said in March. “You think a lot of times when you’re going through the situation, people will say you might want to have a different coach or look at things differently. I absolutely believe and trust that we have the best coach in the world for what we’re going through. His steadiness, the way he sets the tone with these guys, they often say that the team takes on the personality of the coach and that’s happened.”

Contact Omari Sankofa II at osankofa@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.

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