Dwane Casey to Coach Pistons

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But the franchise had its eyes on an National Basketball Association finals appearance this year after winning a franchise-record 59 games in the regular season, the second best record in the league behind only Houston.

"I'm confident that this team has the pieces in place to compete at a very high level", Mr. Casey added.

"He's an outstanding man with impressive character. We're getting to work right away on the things that will make us all successful".

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Detroit has been looking for a coach for a month since firing Stan Van Gundy, who was also its president of basketball operations.

The Pistons will reportedly pay Casey $7 million per season and relented on control of the assistant coaching staff, giving Casey autonomy to hire his own lieutenants, ESPN reported.

He coached the Minnesota Timberwolves for a little more than one season, going 53-69.

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Under Casey, the Raptors won four Atlantic Division titles and advanced to the playoffs in five consecutive seasons. Casey's 2005-06 squad finished in the NBA's top 10 in fewest average points per game and lowest opponent field goal percentage. He took over a Raptors team in 2011 that was coming off a 22-60 season and built them into a regular-season beast, but he could never get over the LeBron James hump and was let go after the latest playoff bust. He also has experience in the league as an assistant with Dallas and Seattle. His teams qualified for the playoffs in 11 of those 14 seasons.

The team had reportedly narrowed down its search between Casey and John Beillin of the University of MI last week.

A native of Morganfield, KY, Casey played collegiately at the University of Kentucky.

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