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Pistons’ Frontrunners for Renewed President Role, Revealed

Trajan Langdon, frontrunner candidate for Detroit Pistons president opening

After their request to interview Milwaukee Bucks general manager Jon Horst was denied, the Detroit Pistons quickly changed course in their search for a president of basketball operations.

Pistons’ Frontrunners for Renewed President Role, Revealed

Looking to fill the role for the first time since 2018, the Pistons have homed in on four executives that could get their organization on the right track, as “Trajan Langdon, Scott Perry, Dennis Lindsey and John Hammond have impressed in interviews and are front-runners to meet with Pistons owner Tom Gores,” per Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill and Jake Fischer. Detroit, who is sifting through their candidates using a third party, “hopes to fill the position before next month’s NBA Draft.”

Whoever the team hires is expected to “make decisions or at least strong recommendations” on general manager Troy Weaver and head coach Monty Williams.

Both have failed to live up to expectations in their role. However, in regard to Weaver, many of Detroit’s current problems can be attributed to him. As the lead decision-maker, Weaver’s the one primarily responsible for putting together a young core whose awkward fit undermines their potential.

Nonetheless, the decision to hire Williams was Gores’ call. Weaver’s choice, former UConn head coach Kevin Ollie, would have been much better. He was no world-beater but in 28 games, the Nets went 11-17 with Ollie as interim head coach. For comparison, the Pistons went 14-68 under Williams, the worst record in franchise history.

With that said, Detroit using a search firm to find their finalists was wise. Nonetheless, there’s going to be questions about who Gores chooses simply because of his track record with personnel hires. Again, Gores hired both Weaver and Williams.

To that point, if anyone is at fault for the state of the franchise, it’s him.

President Langdon?

Of the four executives considered to be frontrunners for the Pistons’ opening, Langdon appears to be the best fit.

To start, Detroit’s vice chairman (Arn Tellem) was Langdon’s agent during his playing days. That type of familiarity bodes well for the front office’s chemistry and communication both immediately after his hire and for the foreseeable future. That said, because of Langdon’s background, he’s also able to understand players in a way that other executives might not. His experience is a useful tool for scouting and contract negotiations.

In addition, Langdon’s rise through the ranks speaks volumes about his competence.

After his playing career, he joined the San Antonio Spurs as a scout, holding the position from 2012-2015. In 2015, he joined his former team —the Cleveland Cavaliers —as director of player administration and basketball operations. Then, in 2016, the Brooklyn Nets hired him as an assistant general manager; he was named the general manager of their G League affiliate. Just three years later and Langdon was promoted again, landing a general manager role with the New Orleans Pelicans.

He helped transform both the Nets and Pelicans into perennial playoff contenders.

Too Much Baggage?

Among the Pistons’ favorites, only Lindsey is missing ties to Detroit.

Formerly a general manager of the Utah Jazz, Lindsey’s teams had five consecutive playoff appearances (2017–2021). He’s also responsible for drafting Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, trading for Mike Conley, and hiring Quin Snyder.

However, he also comes with baggage. In 2021, Lindsey was accused of making racist remarks towards a former Jazz player, Elijah Millsap. Though the NBA couldn’t corroborate the Millsap’s claims, Lindsey stepped down from his role as executive vice president but stayed on as an advisory role. In 2023, he joined the Dallas Mavericks in a similar capacity.


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