The Detroit Pistons have secured their choice by appointing Monty Williams as their forthcoming head coach on Wednesday, as esteemed sources like The Athletic and Stadium’s Shams Charania reported.
As per the accounts of ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Williams has purportedly entered into a six-year agreement valued at $78.5 million, thereby becoming the highest-earning head coach in the history of the NBA. He will take over from Dwane Casey, who decided to step down after a five-year tenure after the 2022-23 season to assume a front-office role.
Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports revealed that the contract could escalate to $100 million through various incentives. Additionally, it incorporates supplementary team choices following the initial six-year term.
Over the past four seasons, Williams has served as the head coach of the Phoenix Suns. Skillfully elevating the team to become the most successful franchise in the league during the previous three years. Under his guidance, the Suns reached the NBA Finals in 2021. And in recognition of his exceptional coaching, Williams was honor as the NBA Coach of the Year in 2022.
At 51, Williams is now undertaking one of the most challenging endeavors in the league. As the Pistons concluded the past three seasons at the bottom of the Central Division with a disheartening 17-65 record. During the lottery held on May 16, the team secured the fifth overall pick in the 2023 NBA draft.
Detroit has failed to qualify for the playoffs in the past four years, and under Casey’s leadership. The team’s overall record stood at 121-263 across five seasons.
In recent years, the Pistons’ lone playoff appearance occurred in Casey’s inaugural season as head coach in 2019. Marking only the second time the team had reached the postseason since 2010. Regrettably, on both occasions, the Pistons were swept by their opponents.
Despite the franchise’s recent lackluster performance. Several promising young talents within the Pistons’ ranks instill a sense of optimism for the future. Jaden Ivey, the fifth overall pick in the 2022 draft, had an impressive rookie season, averaging 16.3 points and 5.2 assists per game. Likewise, Killian Hayes, Jalen Duren, and James Wiseman showcased glimpses of their potential throughout the year.
Undoubtedly, the future of the Pistons rests heavily on the shoulders of Cade Cunningham. The number one overall pick in the 2021 draft. However, Cunningham’s impact was hampered by a broken leg, limiting him to just 12 games in the previous season. Nevertheless, when he was healthy, Cunningham displayed significant improvement, averaging 19.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 6.0 assists, surpassing his rookie season averages.
Williams will undoubtedly have high hopes for the 21-year-old prodigy to completely recover and be in optimal condition for the upcoming season as the Pistons strive to regain their position in playoff contention.
The Pistons have additional challenges to address during the offseason as they seek to finalize their rebuilding process. The appointment of Monty Williams signifies a positive step in the right direction.