It isn’t the first time around for new Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks or the Pistons, but the phrase “new Pistons coach” is something the franchise wouldn’t like to address for at least two years.

Cheeks, an assistant with the Oklahoma City Thunder, will be introduced later this week as the 29th head coach in franchise history after agreeing to a three-year deal with a team option for a fourth, according to a league source.

This is Cheeks’ third stop as head coach after stops in Portland and Philadelphia, where he compiled a 284-286 record in nine seasons before spending four in Oklahoma City. Getting to .500 has been troublesome for the last three coaches, Michael Curry, John Kuester and the last of the departed from Auburn Hills, Lawrence Frank.

Curry was hired to revive an aging championship core, but when Allen Iverson was traded to Detroit early in his lone season, his inexperience became his undoing.

Kuester was the cheap hire because Karen Davidson didn’t want to spend and couldn’t control the locker room. Frank’s mission was to restore a professional attitude and maximize the talent, along with making strides toward a playoff spot while the Pistons cleared up cap space for the future.

Cheeks’ mission is to do what Kuester and Frank could not: Get the Pistons back to the playoffs, as this hire was a consensus from team President Joe Dumars and owner Tom Gores after a two-month search that saw them take a long look at Nate McMillan. They also interviewed former Piston Lindsey Hunter and Darrell Walker.

“We’re pleased to welcome Maurice Cheeks to the Pistons organization,” Dumars said in a statement. “The leadership and player development qualities he brings as a former player and coach blends nicely with the roster we are building for the future. He’s won an NBA championship, coached in two NBA Finals as an assistant coach and mentored some of the top young players in the NBA.”