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An introductory meeting in Los Angeles within the past two weeks has turned into interest.

The Free Press confirmed Michigan coach John Beilein interviewed with the Detroit Pistons on Thursday for their vacant head coaching position.

A source said the Pistons' process with Beilein started with an introductory meeting with the ownership group in L.A.

Beilein has been a hot name in coaching circles the past few years based on his offensive schemes and player development reputation.

There is skepticism around Beilein's candidacy based on his age, 65. 

It is believed the Pistons are seeking a long-term solution at head coach, similar to their approach for front office leader.

Ultimately, the organization will have to decide if Beilein could relate to NBA players.

U-M did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

More: Pistons news likely signals end is near for coach, GM searches

A source told the Free Press that Beilein told his team on Thursday that he was in talks with the Pistons. He also informed recent 4-star commit Jalen Wilson out of Denton, Texas.

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The Pistons search team of senior adviser Ed Stefanski, Pistons vice chairman Arn Tellem and ownership representative Bob Wentworth is working to whittle the list of names to a group of finalists to present to owner Tom Gores.

NBA television analyst Kenny Smith reportedly interviewed with the Pistons on Friday.

Former Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey interviewed with the Pistons on Thursday, and was “impressive,” a source told the Free Press on Friday.

Casey came into the interview with lukewarm expectations based on questions of game management.

But he blew the search team away and was very prepared with detailed notes and video clips.

Beilein was on the list of coaching candidates compiled by a consulting firm before Stan Van Gundy was hired as team president and coach in 2014.

Beilein has been a college coach since 1978. After successful runs at Le Moyne, Canisius, Richmond and West Virginia, he was hired by U-M in 2007.

Since then, Beilein is U-M's all-time leader in wins with a record of 248-143, has reached the national title game twice, including earlier this year, and won the last two Big Ten tournament titles.

If Beilein lands the job, Miami Heat assistant and former Michigan star Juwan Howard could emerge as Beilein‘s lead assistant, a source told the Free Press. Howard is also interviewing for the Pistons head coaching position.

Beilein's allure to the NBA is his reputation as a talent developer, especially in the last few years.

Notable draft picks at U-M under Beilein include Trey Burke, Nik Stauskas,  Tim Hardaway Jr. Glenn Robinson III, Caris LeVert and D.J. Wilson. This summer, Moritz Wagner, who is forgoing his senior season, is expected to be as high as a first-round pick.

Last month, Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said he wanted Beilein to remain at U-M for the rest of Beilein's career. The two sides were discussing a contract extension, according to Manuel. As of now, Beilein is signed through the 2020-21 season, making a base salary of $3.37 million. 

“I don’t want John Beilein to coach anywhere else and he knows that,” Manuel said. “He understands my feelings towards that. You can take that for what it’s worth.

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