Pistons looking closely at Mo Cheeks

June, 2, 2013
6/02/13
2:05
AM ET
Stein By Marc Stein
ESPN.com
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Is Mo Cheeks inching closer to the Detroit Pistons' head coaching job?

The question has never been more valid after Cheeks, according to NBA coaching sources, was summoned to Detroit this weekend for a third-stage interview for the job vacated by Lawrence Frank's dismissal in April.

Sources told ESPN.com that Cheeks' trip was actually his first visit to Detroit as part of this process after conducting his first interview for the job by phone and then meeting separately with Los Angeles-based Pistons owner Tom Gores.

The consensus in coaching circles is that Detroit is closing in on a choice between Cheeks, currently an assistant coach in Oklahoma City, and former Seattle and Portland head coach Nate McMillan.

There have been strong signals in recent days that Cheeks has already won the endorsement of Pistons president Joe Dumars, but the involvement of Phil Jackson in the Pistons' search as an adviser to Gores has led some to speculate that Detroit must still be waiting for Indiana's season to end to talk to Pacers associate head coach and longtime Jackson protege Brian Shaw.

Cheeks has posted a career mark of 284-286 in stints coaching the Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers, with three first-round exits in his six full seasons as a head coach.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

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