C's assistant GM Zarren still in mix for Pistons

C's assistant GM Zarren still in mix for Pistons
May 9, 2014, 5:45 pm
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BOSTON — Another offseason, another one of Danny Ainge's trusted assistants is being talked about as possibly getting his own team to run.

Celtics assistant general manager Mike Zarren was among the first names to surface as a potential candidate for the soon-to-be vacant GM job in Detroit.

When asked where things stood, "I don't think it stands anywhere," Ainge, the Celtics president of basketball operations, told CSNNE.com. "I haven't heard from Detroit at all and neither has Mike."

The Pistons are also in the market for a new coach, so there's no timetable as to when they will make either hire.

Boston has been among the more aggressive teams in relying on analytics as part of their day-to-day business, with Zarren at the forefront of that movement.

It was Zarren who came up with the "lottery wheel" concept as a way to help fix a draft format that needs to be repaired so as to not give as much incentive to losing.

"He'll make a great GM one day," said an NBA executive who has worked with Zarren in the past. "But it has to be the right time, the right job. That guy loves Boston. Getting him to leave would have to be a pretty special situation. I don't know if Detroit's that job."

Last year it was Ryan McDonough who left his assistant GM job in Boston for the GM job in Phoenix.

That worked out quite well, as the rebuilding Suns just missed out on the playoffs and McDonough finishing as the runner-up for the league's Executive of the Year award.

For Ainge, it's a bittersweet experience when teams express interest in his guys.

"You understand that everyone wants to reach their dreams," Ainge said. "But I do like Mike a lot and want to keep Mike with us going forward, for sure."