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2016-17 Detroit Pistons Yearbook

Basketball Operations Jeff Bower General Manager Jeff Bower is in his third season as general manager of the Detroit Pistons and brings more than three decades of basketball experience at the NBA and collegiate levels. Bower’s tenure in Detroit coincides with the roster’s rebuild and team improvement. Only Andre Drummond and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope remain from the roster he inherited since being name general manager on June 3, 2014 and the team has improved its record in each year since Bower’s arrival in Detroit. Additionally, the Pistons made a return to the postseason for the first time in six years last season in large part to some of the shrewd front office moves he’s made. His most recent significant moves saw the Pistons acquire forward Tobias Harris from the Orlando Magic in exchange for Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova at the 2016 trade deadline. He then addressed the team’s need for a strengthened bench by signing free agents Ish Smith, Jon Leuer and Boban Marjanovic during the 2016 free agency period. Under Bower’s leadership, the Pistons roster has experienced an overhaul leading to a mixture of youth, veteran leadership and depth. In the last two NBA Drafts, with Bower at the helm, the Pistons acquired young talent who are all positioned to be a part of Detroit’s future. In 2016, Detroit drafted Henry Ellenson, who was projected to be a lottery pick, 18th overall from Marquette University. Michael Gbinije, a senior from Syracuse, was then selected in the second round with the 49th overall pick. The Pistons drafted Arizona forward Stanley Johnson eighth and Villanova’s Darrun Hilliard 38th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft and they both contributed to the team’s resurgence and return to the playoffs. Bower spearheaded Detroit’s efforts in acquiring guard Reggie Jackson in a 2015 trade-deadline deal which sent D.J. Augustin and Kyle Singler to Oklahoma City and the trade that brought Ilyasova to the Pistons, from Milwaukee, in exchange for Caron Butler and Shawne Williams. Other key moves Bower has made toward the roster’s improvement include the 2015 offseason signing of freeagent big man Aron Baynes and trading for forward Marcus Morris and guard Reggie Bullock, from the Phoenix Suns. Overall, three of the Pistons’ five starters were acquired under Bower’s watch. Bower served two terms as general manager of the Charlotte/ New Orleans Hornets from 2001-03 and 2005-10. He first joined the Hornets organization in 1995 as an advance scout and was promoted to director of scouting/assistant coach after two years. He was the team’s assistant general manager for the 2000-01 season and was named general manager on June 4, 2001. After two years as general manager, Bower was named as an assistant coach (2003-04) and director of player personnel (2004-05) before taking over as general manager again in 2005. While with the Hornets, Bower drafted four future NBA All- Stars including Baron Davis (1999, third pick), Jamaal Magloire (2000, 19th pick), David West (2003, 18th pick) and Chris Paul (2005, fourth pick). He’s credited with rebuilding the Hornets franchise in wake of Hurricane Katrina which forced the Hornets to temporarily relocate to Oklahoma City from 2005-07. His 2007- 08 Hornets team set a franchise record with 56 regular-season wins, won its only division title and advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals where they took the San Antonio Spurs to seven games. The Hornets made four playoff appearances under his leadership. That year, Bower finished third in the Sporting News NBA Executive of the Year voting. 12 Detroit Pistons 2016–17 Yearbook Prior to joining the Pistons, Bower spent the 2013-14 season as head coach of Marist College. He began his collegiate career with Penn State University as an assistant coach from 1983-86. He then moved to Marist College where he served as an assistant coach from 1986-90 before being promoted to associate head coach from 1990-1995. While at Marist, Bower helped lead the Red Foxes to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 1987 after winning the Northeast Conference and coached Rik Smits, the second overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft who went on to have a stellar career with the Indiana Pacers. In addition to his NBA and college accolades, Bower was a three-time guest of the International Basketball Academy held in Pula, Croatia, where he coached and instructed basketball clinics. A native of Hollidaysburg, PA., Bower and his wife, Lisa, have one daughter. He holds a BA in history/education from St. Francis College.


2016-17 Detroit Pistons Yearbook
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