Dwane Casey joins Pistons list of coaching candidates

Add Dwane Casey’s name to the list of potential Pistons coaching candidates.The Toronto Raptors fired Casey on Friday, just days after the NBA’s coaches voted him coach of the year. Casey was with the Raptors for seven seasons and led them to a franchise-record 59 wins this season, getting the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.Toronto was swept out of the second round of the playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second straight season.”After careful consideration, I have decided this is a very difficult but necessary step the franchise must take,” Raptors president Masai Ujiri said in a team statement. “As a team, we are constantly trying to grow and improve in order to get to the next level.”We celebrate everything Dwane has done for the organization, we thank him, and we wish him nothing but the best in the future. He was instrumental in creating the identity and culture of who we are as a team, and we are so proud of that.”More: A look at how NBA playoff contenders built their rosterCasey, 61, immediately will become a leading candidate for the four other open coaching positions: Pistons, Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic. The Pistons parted ways with Stan Van Gundy, who was the head coach and team president. Team owner Tom Gores has begun the process of revamping the front office and coaching staff.Casey joins a possible list of coaching candidates that could include Mike Budenholzer, Frank Vogel, Jerry Stackhouse and others.All indications are that the Pistons will look to fill the president role first, then move to hiring a head coach afterward. General manager Jeff Bower remains under contract until June 30 and will represent the franchise at the draft lottery and draft combine next week.The Pistons finished 39-43 last season and adding Casey could help them in the turnaround to reach the playoffs for just the second time in the last decade. Casey went 320-238 in seven seasons with the Raptors.rod.beard@detroitnews.comTwitter: @detnewsRodBeardDwane Casey +600Jerry Stackhouse +800