Cowens, a Hall of Fame player who coached the Celtics, Charlotte Hornets and Golden State Warriors, coached the expansion Sky to a league-worst 5-29 record this season.
The Pistons, Saunders told the Detroit News, "came to the decision that we were going to make our staff as good as we could make it. We weren't going to set any limits. I am real excited about bringing Dave in."
A Hall of Fame center with the Boston Celtics in the 1970s,
Cowens' last NBA coaching job was with the Golden State Warriors
"We are pleased to add Dave Cowens to our coaching staff,"
said Joe Dumars, Pistons president of basketball operations. "His
experience as a Hall of Fame player and head coach in this league
will be an asset for our team."
The Sky said they have begun a search for Cowens' successor.
Former Pistons assistant Sidney Lowe left to coach his alma mater, North Carolina State, and assistant Don Zierden is a candidate for the vacant head position with the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA.
Saunders said he's not concerned about having two former head coaches on his staff.
"The people who worry about that are those that question their own ability," Saunders told the News. "If you worry about that, you aren't secure in what you are doing. I have always been one to want to be surrounded by the best people. It's how you make your team stronger."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.