After being fired by the Phoenix Suns after a disappointing playoff exit, Monty Williams is set to become the new head coach of the Detroit Pistons. Williams will sign a six-year, $72 million deal with Detroit that could reach up to eight years and $100 million with incentives, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania and James Edwards.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski notes that Williams' deal is the largest for a head coach in NBA history.
In recent days, rumors began to circulate that the Pistons were prepared to offer Williams a deal in the range of $10 million per year, and this annual value significantly exceeds that. Williams now becomes one of the league's highest-paid coaches, and he is still owed over $20 million over the next three years from the Phoenix Suns, who parted ways with Williams after four seasons earlier this month.
Williams had reportedly declined an offer from Detroit previously, and had indicated to interested teams that he might want to take a year away from coaching, but clearly the Pistons offered an opportunity he couldn't resist.
Williams seems like a good fit in Detroit as he has been lauded for building organizational culture and developing talent in his past stops, and that's exactly what the Pistons need at this point in time. They have young talent on the roster -- including recent lottery picks Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey and James Wiseman -- and an experienced, respected coach could certainly help to turn the team back into a playoff contender in the Eastern Conference.
This situation is reminiscent of the last time the Pistons hired a head coach. In 2018, Dwane Casey was thinking about taking a year off from coaching after an extended stint in Toronto, but the Pistons' persistence and willingness to pay top dollar convinced Casey to take the job. Immediately following the conclusion of the 2022-23 season in April, Detroit announced that Casey would shift his role from the bench to the front office, paving the way for Williams to take over.
The Pistons are looking for a coach to mold its young talent into a contender, and they hope Williams is the leader to take them there.