With the Detroit Pistons eyeing a new lead decision-maker, “there’s a real possibility” that Milwaukee Bucks general manager Jon Horst would accept an offer from the Pistons to become their new president of basketball operations, per The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor.

Former Executive of the Year in Play for Pistons?

Per O’Connor, Horst’s declining power within the front office could provide impetus for him to make the move. Despite being with the organization since 2017, his choices for the Bucks’ next head coach was vetoed on two occasions. When Milwaukee hired first-year head coach Adrian Griffin, he wanted them to bring in Nick Nurse. When they pivoted to Doc Rivers, he thought they should hire Golden State Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson.

Of course, none of those moves quite panned out. Griffin’s coaching decisions were questioned, leading to his firing. The Bucks have been unable to win consistently under Rivers, going 18-22 since he took over. Meanwhile, the Sixers finished seventh in the Eastern Conference in Nurse’s first year as head coach. Atkinson’s teams have won fewer than 30 games in three of the four games he was head coach.

Nonetheless, having his authority undermined is reason enough to believe he’d be interested in a move. With the Pistons, he won’t have the only voice and may not have the largest one. Pistons owner Tom Gores and general manager Troy Weaver have enjoyed their influence, so there’s no reason to believe that they’ll stop. However, Detroit could allow him to be the final decision-maker, making all the difference.

A Michigan native who played basketball for a small in-state college (Rochester Christian University), the draw of returning home could also appeal to Horst. To that point, there’s less than two hours between his hometown of Sandusky and Detroit. Someone that likely grew up as a Pistons fan, there’s a certain appeal to leading the home state franchise.

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Why the Pistons Should Hire Horst

If Detroit brings in Horst, they’ll have landed an executive with a stellar record.

The 2019 NBA Executive of the Year, Horst is responsible for hiring Mike Budenholzer in 2018. This could have a particular appeal to the Pistons given the questions surrounding Monty Williams. Though Budenholzer is unlikely to coach a rebuilding team, Horst’s choice for Detroit’s next head coach could accelerate their timeline.

Horst’s front office also signed Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, and Bobby Portis while trading for Jrue Holiday, moves that led to an NBA championship soon after. Though the Bucks have made questionable draft decisions over the years, the defining characteristic of their front office has been their ability to build a team with great floor balance.

The Pistons, whose potential has been undermined by poor fit, needs someone with his vision.

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