The Detroit Pistons are busy looking for their next head coach, and reports on possible candidates have been flying around for several days. Nate McMillan was pegged as front-runner for the job earlier in the week by Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News, but the former Sonics coach may be waiting to see what happens with the sale of the Sacramento Kings franchise before making a decision. In the meantime, Phoenix Suns interim coach Lindsey Hunter says he is preparing to interview for the job in Detroit.
Hunter asked the Suns organization for permission to interview for the Pistons job, and they recently granted his request. Hunter played in Detroit for 12 NBA seasons and still has a family home in the area, so he's happy that the Pistons are interested in talking to him (via Tom Coro of AZCentral Sports):
"It's just an interview, like any other," said Hunter, who was interviewed for Orlando's head-coaching job last summer. "They (the Pistons) have a coaching opening and I was fortunate that they'd consider me.
Hopefully, I'll continue to gain interest from other people."
Hunter got his first head coaching chance with the Suns this season when the Suns hired him to replace Alvin Gentry. The team finished the year 12-29 under Hunter's direction, and he seemed overwhelmed by the job at times. Dave King at Bright Side of the Sun noted that Hunter admitted to not calling a single offensive play in his first game as head coach.
Pistons GM Joe Dumars has a history with Hunter, and it's unclear whether he's simply doing an old friend a favor or actually considering the inexperienced former-Piston as a true candidate for the job. McMillan has far more experience and a better track record, so it may come down to where the franchise is headed.
The Pistons will head into the summer with tons of cap space, but this crop of free agents isn't considered a strong one behind a few premium players that won't land in Detroit. If they can't grab a franchise-changing group of players, will they lean more toward a young coach to focus on developing Andre Drummond for the future?
Houston Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson and Brooklyn Nets head coach P.J. Carlesimo were crossed off the list by Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press earlier in the week, as noted in the Storystream tracking all the news on Detroit Pistons coaching candidates as team blog Detroit Bad Boys. When Detroit hears from McMillan, more dominoes may fall.