The Detroit Pistons are expected to make a run at Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo at the conclusion of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, a source close to situation reported on Tuesday.
After relieving head coach Mo Cheeks from his duty, the Pistons are out to hire a new bench tactician that will help the franchise get back in the postseason. According to initial reports, Izzo appears to be the top candidate for the head coaching gig, the Sparty coach denied the rumors.
"There's been so many rumors over the years," Izzo said in an interview with ESPN. "I look at people I used to recruit against years ago [that] said that I'd be gone, but I'm still here and some of those schools have had three different coaches. I've always said I'd never say never to anything because you never know what it brings.
But I got so much more work to do here. I have a great president, a great [athletics director] and a football coach that I really get along [with]. So this is a pretty good place for me right now. We're in a pretty good spot. [The] program's in pretty good shape. [It] ain't broke, so why fix it?"
Despite his denial, Izzo is a big contract away from accepting a head coaching duty in the NBA. The veteran coach spearheaded the Spartans to greater heights during his tenure, turning the program into a perennial powerhouse in college hoops.
If Izzo decided to leave college, the Pistons are expected to have a competition in the Minnesota Timberwolves, whose coach Rick Adelman is expected to retire after this season.
"A report last summer suggested the Timberwolves were eyeing Izzo as a possible replacement for Rick Adelman, who instead decided to return for another season. There's speculation that Adelman will step aside this summer, so the Pistons might have NBA competition for Izzo," via Michael Roserberg of Sports Illustrated.