Basketball / Sports

Stan Van Gundy sees slight edge in being coach, GM

Some Pistons fans seem to be surprised by the team's spending spree this summer.

They see reports suggesting the Pistons overpaid for free agents Jodie Meeks and Caron Butler, and wonder why Stan Van Gundy gave Cartier Martin, the king of the 10-day contract, basically a two-year deal.

The only signing with unanimous approval appears to be point guard D.J. Augustin.

But there shouldn't be such surprise. Van Gundy hinted at his aggressiveness (throwing a big check) at his preferred targets last month when asked if being the coach helps when going after free agents.

"It's not as much an advantage as money," he said. "My experience with the NBA is about 99.9 (percent) of the time the guy takes the best contract offer.

"Most guys aren't going to make a big sacrifice, so money is No.1, but then there are all kinds of things after that."

But Van Gundy said being both the coach and GM does help.

"I can present the roster and talk about roles free agents could play," Van Gundy said. "If you're talking to them as a coach, it's probably a little more realistic than just the front office -- so a slight advantage, but not a whole lot."

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