After seven seasons as the head coach of the Toronto Raptors, Dwane Casey has been hired as the new head coach of the Detroit Pistons.
He will sign a five-year contract with the Pistons according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Casey went 320-238 in seven seasons with the Raptors leading them to five straight playoff appearances. This will be Casey’s third different head coaching job after a short stint with the Minnesota Timberwolves and his time with the Raptors.
In 2016, the Raptors made it to their first-ever Eastern Conference Finals against the eventual NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers and took them to six games.
Before Casey arrived, the Raptors missed the playoffs for three straight seasons.
After 23 wins in 2012, the Raptors record improved for the next four seasons and eventually they were able to enjoy three straight 50-win seasons. While Casey has proven himself to be one of the best coaches in the league, his time with the Raptors came to an unfortunate end.
Despite their success in making the playoffs, the Raptors were unable to get over the hump with Casey at the helm. Their last three playoff runs ended with LeBron James eliminating them from the postseason in dominant fashion. This includes the last two series ending via sweep.
It is insane that the best player on the planet has this much of a psychological advantage over the Raptors franchise. Because of the great performance from the Cavaliers in that series, someone had to take the fall for the Raptors not being able to get to the NBA Finals.
Although most of the reason is LeBron James’ dominance over Toronto (hell, he was given the nickname “LeBronto” for crying out loud), Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri identified Casey as the problem and it led to the firing of the greatest coach in Raptors history.
Most NBA fans knew that Casey wouldn’t be out of coaching for long especially with his regular season success. However, he will be looking to find success in a new home with a unique roster.
Dwane Casey will be joining a Pistons team that has a really good amount of talent.
Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond are capable of being a formidable big man duo next season. In addition to that, Reggie Jackson is a solid point guard that can be paired with these two frontcourt stars. However, the Pistons have very little cap space going into this summer so the only way they can change the team is via trade.
Overall, this is an interesting hire by the Pistons just 10 days from the 2018 NBA draft, a draft where the Pistons don’t own a first-round pick (because of the Griffin trade). It will be interesting to see how the Pistons approach this summer because it feels like their hands are tied behind their back.
This Pistons team is in need of a solid wing player so getting one via trade or late in the draft is essential to their success. If Casey can get this team back to the postseason, he will further prove that he’s one of the best coaches in the league. We will see what the new Pistons regime can do.