On April 7, 2011, the Pistons reached a long-awaited agreement to sell the franchise to billionaire Tom Gores. The deal was granted by the NBA Board of Governors in May and also included The Palace of Auburn Hills and DTE Energy Music Theatre. According to Crain's Detroit Business, the final sale price was $325 million, far lower than expected.
Prior to the 201112 season, the team decided to hire a new coach, Lawrence Frank, former head coach of the New Jersey Nets and an assistant coach of the Boston Celtics. The 201112 season was an improvement from previous years for the Pistons, although they still posted a losing record. While they started the season 420, they managed to win half their remaining games to finish a lockout-shortened season with a record of 2541. The team continued to build its young core with the drafting of the talented center Andre Drummond.
Following the 201213 season, coach Lawrence Frank was fired on April 18, 2013, after two losing seasons, and on June 10, 2013, the Pistons hired former player and coach, Maurice Cheeks. His tenure lasted for just a bit more than half a season, and he was replaced with interim coach John Loyer. In April, the Pistons announced that Joe Dumars would step down as President of Basketball Operations, yet remain as an advisor to the organization and its ownership team. On May 14, 2014, Stan Van Gundy was hired. Van Gundy signed a 5-year, $35 million contract to become the head coach and President of Basketball Operations for the team.
After starting the 201415 season with a 523 record, the Pistons waived Josh Smith, who was acquired in the summer of 2013. The team went on a lengthy winning streak, but would only finish the season with a record of 3250 after Brandon Jennings' Achilles injury.
Beginning with the 197879 season, the Pistons played their home games in suburban Oakland County (directly north of Detroit/Wayne County), first playing ten seasons at the Pontiac Silverdome, and then began play at The Palace of Auburn Hills starting in the 198889 season. From 1999 (when the Lakers re-located from The Forum in suburban Inglewood to Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles) until the conclusion of the 2016-17 season, the Pistons remained the only NBA franchise to play in a suburban location, concluding a 39-year stay in Oakland County.
Pistons owner Tom Gores, Palace Sports & Entertainment vice chairman Arn Tellum, and Olympia Entertainment (the Ilitch family's holding company that controls the Detroit Red Wings and Tigers) had been in negotiations over a partnership since the summer of 2015, with the Pistons possibly relocating to the new Little Caesars Arena as soon as the 201718 season. Talks intensified just as the Pistons were set to open their 201617 season, and as part of the terms of the agreement, it also may include a possible merger between Olympia and PS&E. Also contingent on a finalized agreement, the Pistons were looking for a parcel of land in the arena's vicinity, to build a new practice facility and team headquarters. The leasing agreement/partnership needed both city and league approval to be finalized.
On November 22, 2016, the Pistons announced their intention to move to Little Caesars Arena, and the site of the Palace of Auburn Hills would be redeveloped and sold, with the arena likely to be demolished as part of the redevelopment.
On June 20, 2017, Detroit City Council approved the Pistons' move to Little Caesars Arena. On August 3, 2017, it was announced that the NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved the move, which made it official.