Tim Connelly, Jon Horst, Dennis Lindsey on Detroit’s radar to take over basketball operations: report

Detroit Bad Boys

The Detroit Pistons formally announced they would be hiring a president of basketball operations on April 15, but there have been scan updates since. Presumably, the team is working with its national search firm to identify an extensive list of candidates, and will eventually reach out to a select few for initial interviews.

Now, there are some more names emerging as potential front runners, with Marc Stein reporting that a couple folks whose teams are still in the playoffs are among those on the top of the list.

Stein reports that the Pistons would “naturally have interest” in Minnesota’s Tim Connelly should Connelly exercise his opt-out clause amid ownership turmoil with the Timberwolves. Before the Wolves were among the title favorites this season, Connelly spent years building a title-contending and eventually title-winning team in Denver.

Connelly is currently in the second year of a five-year, $40-million deal. However, there is remaining and potentially increasing hostility between current owner Glen Taylor and former future owners Alex Rodriguez and Mar Lore after Taylor abruptly pulled the team off the market and said the aforementioned investors had not met their obligations to take a controlling stake in the franchise.

I would imagine it would be unlikely Connelly would be eager to leave a team in Minnesota that is so young and so good already, but the ownership issues present challenges, to say the least.

Another candidate high on Detroit’s list is Milwaukee Bucks’ general manger Jon Horst. Horst is a Michigan native who got his start in the executive ranks with the Pistons in the early 2000s.

I will note that Horst was the primary name that emerged as soon as rumblings began that Detroit was reshaping its front office. A new report from The Ringer also indicates that “there’s a real possibility that Horst will take the gig in Detroit.”

Why leave the Bucks for the dregs of Detroit? There is the local angle, of course, but also, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connell reports, Horst’s influence has dwindled in recent years.

Horst appears to be losing power struggles with franchise player Giannis Antetokounmpo over head coaching decisions and is facing the prospect of navigating an older, declining roster and a potentially unhappy franchise player.

Another name on Detroit’s radar is Mavericks consultant Dennis Lindsey, Stein reports. Prior to Dallas, he spent nearly a decade as a GM of the Utah Jazz.

Another name “to monitor” is former player and current professional podcaster and media star JJ Redick. This wouldn’t be for the head coaching position, though, and could instead be a position in the front office “in the event he has any interest in a move to basketball operations.”

This is not an uncommon feeler that former players send out to organizations as they are looking to get a foothold into organizational leadership. I recall Chauncey Billups talked about a willingness to join a front office prior to becoming an assistant coach.

It should be noted, and I can’t emphasize how annoying this fact is, that Redick’s former agent is current Pistons chairman Arn Tellem.

So there you have that.

All in all, this is a strong list of contenders for the potential president of basketball operations role for the Pistons. Connelly would be an A-plus hire, and Horst wouldn’t be too far behind, it seems. Lindsey performed admirably as a GM of a small-market team in Utah and built several contending teams. JJ Redick … has a podcast! Seriously, though, he could be a good coach or executive, I have no idea. Brent Barry went from Turner broadcast mainstay to an executive in San Antonio and is now the GM of its G League affiliate.

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