MOVE ALONG NOTHING TO SEE HERE [Marc-Gregor Campredon]
A Wojbomb has struck Ann Arbor:
The University of Michigan's John Beilein interviewed for the Detroit Pistons coaching job on Thursday, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 1, 2018
Wojnarowski's report was corroborated by the Freep's Pistons beat writer, Vincent Ellis, who added some detail:
— NerdOnPistons (@Vincent_Ellis56) June 1, 2018
Woj mentioned a couple other candidates in a quick article posted shortly after the news broke:
Sources told ESPN that Beilein and former Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey met Thursday in Michigan with Pistons officials -- a contingent that included new senior adviser Ed Stefanski and coaching search consultants Bernie Bickerstaff and Jim Lynam.
Detroit also is planning to meet with Miami Heat assistant Juwan Howard this weekend.
I won't lie: this isn't the news I wanted to hear, especially since The Athletic's Brendan Quinn tweeted that "a number of people extremely close to Beilein" were not aware this meeting occurred. Beilein, notably, acts as his own agent. The Pistons are owned by Tom Gores, noted Spartan who's done a not-so-great job of running the franchise since buying it from the family of noted Wolverine William Davidson.
[After THE JUMP: nonnonono]
That said, there's plenty of reason to believe this will end in a nice raise from Michigan for Beilein—and quite possibly his entire staff—when the dust settles. The Pistons are looking at a number of candidates, including one with NBA head coaching experience in Dwane Casey, and a few other names (like TNT's Kenny Smith) have popped up without anything seeming to come of it.
Meanwhile, Beilein has three years left on a deal that pays him $3.37MM annually, second in the Big Ten only to Tom Izzo—but the gap to MSU's coach, who makes $4.4MM a year, is sizable. An extension is being discussed, and athletic director Warde Manuel has made it clear he wants Beilein around for a long time. Beilein is in a strong negotiating position; he's coming off his second national title appearance in six years, the men's basketball program has been easily the most consistently good of the major sports during his tenure, and the money for his assistants doesn't stack up to M's Big Ten competition:
Staff pay is a significant issue.
Last year's U-M staff ...
Saddi Washington - $250,000 Luke Yaklich - $225,000
DeAndre Haynes - $200,000
Other B10 staffs ...
Ohio State: $1.02 million
At Michigan State: $820,000 https://t.co/kLRJFG5dh0
— Brendan F. Quinn (@BFQuinn) June 1, 2018
Manuel passed his first major test at Michigan with flying colors when he hired Mel Pearson to replace Red Berenson, a move that's brought an immediate turnaround for hockey. This may be the one he's ultimately judged on, however.
For everyone's sake, let's hope this moves quickly and results in Michigan firing the money cannon.