According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Clippers assistant GM Mark Hughes is among the leading candidates for the open Detroit Pistons general manager position.
Hughes’ candidacy in Detroit is the next step in a recent trend of Clippers executives being sought after around the league. The Clippers, of course, have the stellar and well-known leadership team of owner Steve Ballmer, advisor Jerry West, president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank, head coach Doc Rivers, and executive director of research and identity Lee Jenkins. But beyond those bigger names, Hughes joins Michael Winger and Trent Redden as three of the league’s highly-regarded executives.
Last year, Winger turned down the opportunity to interview for the Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations job in order to stay on as Clippers general manager. Redden also chose to stay with the Clippers last year after having the opportunity to join his former boss David Griffin, who he won a championship with in Cleveland, in New Orleans.
Prior to this opportunity in Detroit, Hughes was a finalist for the recent Chicago Bulls general manager opening, with Philadelphia assistant general manager Marc Eversley eventually getting the job.
In Detroit, Hughes would have the difficult task of not only turning around a franchise in the cellar of the Eastern Conference, but rebuilding around Blake Griffin. While Clippers fans know better than anyone how great Blake can be, they also know that his massive contract and injury concerns can make building around him perilous. As an added factor, Hughes was a member of the Clippers front office that traded Griffin to Detroit, and Blake has seemed less than happy with the Clippers organization in the years since.