Jeff Bower can openly discuss trades with other teams as part of his job duties as general manager of the Detroit Pistons.
Bower consults daily with Stan Van Gundy about ways in which the Pistons can improve their roster.
"That question is asked a lot," Bower said, referring to his trade empowerment. "But no matter what the structure is, the G.M. isn't going to make a trade without his head coach, his understanding of it, his involvement, his buy-in with it, because it won't work without that. In this case, we all have ideas about things. I'll have ideas that I'll take to Stan; Stan will give ideas to me, and scenarios that he'd like to look into. It's a constant exchange, back and forth."
Van Gundy and Bower oversaw the biggest front-office expansion in Pistons history this offseason, with 43 employees in basketball operations, up from 33 last season.
Bower said he and Van Gundy started by identifying the jobs they felt were necessary, then catered the structure to it, "as opposed to working with the flow chart first."
Bower embraced analytics with New Orleans, particularly during his second stint as the team's general manager from 2005-10.
"We really put a lot of weight into measuring things, and into tracking things, and into gauging what we were getting back in return for what we were spending," Bower said. "It's a spotlight is how I look at it. You bring things to the table that have some patterns and traits, that maybe would take longer to identify without the use of numbers. But it has to always be partnered with evaluation and observation."