Report: Pistons look to interview Kevin Ollie, Charles Lee, others for coaching job

Detroit News

Detroit — Pistons general manager Troy Weaver isn’t wasting any time in his search for a new head coach.

According to various reports, the Pistons are expected to interview 13-year NBA veteran Kevin Ollie for their coaching vacancy, and they’ve received permission to speak with Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Charles Lee. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski also reported that Toronto Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin and Miami Heat assistant Chris Quinn are candidates Weaver will consider during its hiring process.

Shams Charania of The Athletic first reported Detroit’s intention to interview Ollie, who coached at Connecticut for six seasons. He led his alma mater to an NCAA championship in 2014 before he was fired by the university in 2018 due to an investigation for violating NCAA rules.

Ollie, 50, most recently finished his second season as head coach at Overtime Elite, a professional basketball league for top high school players between 16 and 20 years old.

Lee, 38, currently serves as associate head coach for the Bucks under head coach Mike Budenholzer. He is one of the significant candidates in the Pistons’ search, according to Wojnarowski, and is considered one of the top up-and-coming coaches in the NBA.

Griffin, 48, is the lead assistant on the Raptors’ coaching staff under head coach Nick Nurse. He went undrafted in the 1996 NBA Draft, but played 10 seasons in the league. Griffin has served as an assistant coach for the Bucks, Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder and Raptors, the team he’s been with for the past five seasons.

Griffin served as acting head coach in place of Nurse on Feb. 12 and led the Raptors to a 119-118 victory over the Pistons in Toronto.

Quinn, 39, has served as an assistant with the Heat under head coach Erik Spoelstra since 2014. He served as acting head coach twice in place of Spoelstra during the 2021-22 season. The undrafted former point guard played six seasons in the NBA and his career-high of 26 points occurred against the Pistons on April 15, 2009.

Pistons great Jerry Stackhouse, who currently coaches at Vanderbilt, dismissed the speculation that he was interested in the Pistons’ coaching job on Thursday after responding to a fan that pleaded with him to remain at the university.

The news of the Pistons’ latest coaching candidates arrives five days after former coach Dwane Casey announced his intention to step down and transition into the front office. Weaver said during his postseason interview session on Tuesday that there wasn’t a sense of urgency to hire a new coach right away, but it appears that the process has begun rather quickly.

The Pistons finished the regular season with the worst record in the NBA (17-65) and the second-worst record in franchise history, making them a heavy favorite to land the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Twitter: @MikeACurtis2

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