Pistons hire Casey as coach on five-year deal

Coach Dwane Casey, pictured April 2018, has been hired by the Detroit Pistons. (AFP pic)

DETROIT: Dwane Casey has been hired as new coach of the Detroit Pistons, joining the basketball franchise on a five-year deal four weeks after his dismissal from the Toronto Raptors, reports said Monday.

ESPN and the Detroit Free Press both reported Casey had been appointed to replace former coach Stan Van Gundy, who was sacked at the end of the regular season.

Casey, who will be the 36th Pistons coach, is expected to receive around $7 million a year. He will be formally unveiled to media next week.

News of the appointment comes exactly one month after Casey was dismissed by the Raptors.

Under Casey, the Canadian franchise won a record 59 games this season to secure top seeding in the Eastern Conference.

However the Raptors flopped in the playoffs, suffering a 4-0 clean sweep by Cleveland in the second round, sealing Casey’s fate.

The Pistons finished the regular season with a 39-43 record and Casey will be expected to lead them back to the playoffs next year.

The 61-year-old, who coached in the Japan league and served as an assistant coach for Japan’s national team from 1989 to 1994, spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach with Seattle before getting his first NBA head coaching job at Minnesota, going 53-69 before being fired in January 2007.

He spent three seasons as an assistant with the Dallas Mavericks, helping them win the 2011 NBA crown, leading to his move to the Raptors in 2011.

Casey went 320-238 in seven seasons coaching the Raptors, bringing four Atlantic division crowns and the team’s first three 50-win campaigns.