The Detroit Pistons are inching closer to hiring their new head coach.
New Orleans Pelicans assistant Jarron Collins, Milwaukee Bucks assistant Charles Lee and former UConn head coach Kevin Ollie will fly to Los Angeles next week to meet with Pistons owner Tom Gores, a team source familiar with the process told the Free Press on Friday. Although there are additional candidates under consideration who could reach the in-person interview stage, Collins, Lee and Ollie have made an early impression.
THE BIG 3, PART 1: Kevin Ollie has a unique resume
THE BIG 3, PART 2: Jarron Collins’ defensive mind could make him perfect for job
THE BIG THREE, PART 3: Charles Lee is a fast riser in the NBA and could be the next Pistons head coach
Lee, the youngest of the bunch at 38, has been on former Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer’s staff since 2014. Milwaukee promoted Lee to associate head coach last summer. It’s unclear if Budenholzer’s recent firing will impact Lee’s availability. In addition to the Pistons, he also recently interviewed for the Toronto Raptors’ vacant position.
Collins, 44, is also thought to be one of the NBA’s brightest head coach prospects. Before joining Detroit native Willie Green’s bench in 2021, he was the Golden State Warriors’ defensive coordinator and won three championships with the organization. Collins is also a former NBA player, playing 13 seasons after being selected in the second round of the 2021 draft.
Ollie, 50, has the most experience, and also the least time on an NBA bench. He went right from the NBA to an assistant coach job at his alma mater, then took over in 2012 and led the program to a national championship in 2014. But after a few down seasons, he was fired in 2018, allegedly due to NCAA rules violations. He later won a lawsuit against his former school, and was most recently head of coaching and basketball development at Overtime Elite before stepping down in March.