Pistons coach Monty Williams to a record $78.5 million contract in one season

The Detroit Pistons have fired coach Monty Williams declared Wednesday. The decision to part ways with Williams now reportedly came at the franchise level. Hired last offseason to a then-unprecedented six-year, $78.5 million contract, Williams lasted just one year in his new role with the Pistons. He went 14-68 in a disastrous season that included a 28-game losing streak.

“Decisions like these are difficult to make, and I want to thank Monty for his hard work and dedication,” Pistons owner Tom Kors said in a team statement. “Coaching has many dynamic challenges that unfold over the course of a season and Monty has always handled them with grace. However, after carefully reviewing our performance and assessing our current position as an organization, we will chart a new course moving forward.”

The Pistons already made a change in their basketball operations department when they brought in Trajan Langdon from the New Orleans Pelicans as their new general manager. Previous general manager Troy Weaver left the team soon after, and with Langdon in place, it looks like the Pistons have decided to completely clean house and start over without the former. NBA The finalist was Williams.

The deal Williams signed last offseason reset the market for the NBA’s other top coaches. After the Williams deal, Erik Spoelstra got a new eight-year, $120 million contract with the Miami Heat, and that’s the new standard. Ty Lue, Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr have signed more new extensions at higher annual salaries than the Pistons offered Williams last year.

Detroit had to pay Williams that much because, after a successful tenure with the Phoenix Suns, he was in demand. The Pistons, coming off a 17-win season at the time, didn’t have the most coveted job to offer, and reports indicated the front office was split among several candidates. Williams, the most talented coach Detroit had talked about, emerged as a reasonable compromise, and owner Tom Kors opened his checkbook to bring him aboard.

See also  iSpace: Japanese Moon Lander May Have Crashed

But his lone season with the Pistons didn’t go as planned. Detroit won fewer games than it did last season before Williams arrived, despite the return of former No. 1 overall pick Kate Cunningham from an injury that largely kept him out of the 2022-23 season. Key young players like Jaden Ivey struggled to find their feet in a system, while less important players like Gillian Hayes played more than their recommended numbers. Detroit’s limited spacing made it difficult for their young ball handlers to develop, and Williams didn’t help matters with an offensive scheme that emphasized intermediate looks.

That system was made possible with Chris Paul and Devin Booker in Phoenix. Not working with younger people in Detroit. The Pistons must turn years of high draft picks into a viable, balanced team. They will now turn to a new coach to do that.

Latest articles

Related articles