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Ex-Pistons exec Tom Wilson joining the Ilitch empire? Maybe

Mixed reports are coming out today that former Pistons CEO and president Tom Wilson could be the newest addition to the Ilitch Holdings controlled Olympia Entertainment.

The Detroit-area television station WXYT first reported the news on Monday evening.'s Ansar Khan writes the deal is expected to be announced Tuesday.

However, Ilitch Holdings is denying the report currently. Vice president of corporate communications Tom Pyden told Bill Shea of Crain's Detroit Business:

"Clearly, Tom had a great career with the Pistons and the Palace. While we were competitors in the marketplace, we always admired Tom and his staff for their accomplishments on and off the court. Tom would be a terrific addition to any organization, but beyond that, we are not going to comment on speculation regarding Tom's next possible career move."

Shea sums it up: a non-denial denial.

Wilson's resignation strikes me as a pretty big loss for the Pistons. (Update: Check out Detroit Bad Boys for their thoughts.) With the team's ownership future uncertain, he made the move he felt he had to make. So his jointing Ilitch Holdings would seem like a pretty good "get" for the company.

Wilson is expected to oversee both the Red Wings -- Ilitch's hockey team, for those outside the mitten state -- and Tigers. However, his most important duty might be building the new home of the Wings. Shea speculates Wilson might actually be coming on board to manage the entire Ilitch empire.

For those outside of Michigan who aren't familiar with the back story, I provide this from Khan's article:

Wilson handled all business aspects for the Pistons, The Palace, the DTE Energy Music Theatre and the Meadow Brook Music Festival. He resigned after 32 years with the organization, saying the time was right to explore new opportunities.

Pistons owner Karen Davidson has said she is considering selling the team. The Pistons, under Wilson’s watch, became one of the most valuable franchises in the NBA.

And of course, there have been murmurs the Ilitches could buy Palace Sports and Entertainment from Davidson. The Pistons could even be a part of their purchase, though this has been denied.

But that's all pretty wild speculation at this time.

We'll revisit this again if, in fact, Wilson is hired by Ilitch and when we learn more about his duties.

UPDATE: Ansar Khan writing that the Ilitch company have denied this hire.

-- Mike