Three candidates for the Pistons’ head-coaching job have advanced to the next round and will fly to Los Angeles to meet with Pistons team owner Tom Gores, a league source confirmed to The Detroit News on Monday.
Former University of Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie, New Orleans Pelicans assistant Jarron Collins and Milwaukee Bucks assistant Charles Lee will meet with Gores this week, as the Pistons get closer to deciding who will be their next head coach.
None of the three candidates has experience as an NBA head coach, and if selected, the first task would be turning around a Pistons franchise that is in the midst of a rebuild after a miserable 17-65 season.
Ollie, 50, is one of the more popular names among the three, having led Connecticut to the national championship in 2014. He most recently served as the head coach of Overtime Elite, a basketball league for top players between the ages of 16 and 20, before stepping down in March.
Collins, 44, who’s been with the Pelicans since 2021, won three NBA championships as an assistant on Steve Kerr’s coaching staff in Golden State. Collins played 10 seasons in the NBA, primarily with the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns before retiring in 2011. Pistons general manager Troy Weaver was the head scout for the Jazz from 2004-07, overlapping Collins’ time in Utah for three seasons.
Lee served as an assistant under former Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer since 2018. Milwaukee fired Budenholzer shortly after the Bucks were upset in five games by the Miami Heat in the first round of this year’s playoffs. It is unclear how the Bucks’ coaching search will factor into Lee’s decision-making, but the fact that he’s meeting with Gores shows his continued interest. At 38 years old, he would instantly become one of the league’s youngest head coaches if hired, and his voice could resonate with the Pistons’ young core.
Nothing is concrete at this time and one of the candidates could certainly win the job this week, according to a source familiar with the situation. However, if none of them leaves an imprint on Gores, the interview process could continue.
This story will be updated with more information.