Detroit Pistons: Coaching search takes another surprising turn

Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns reacts against the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns reacts against the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons have taken their time with their search for a new head coach and their patience might pay off big.

In one of the big surprises of the offseason, the Phoenix Suns parted ways with coach Monty Williams according to Shams Charania among others:

This shows you exactly how tenuous it is to be a head coach in the NBA, as Williams was 194-115 with the Suns, won coach of the year twice and led them to the NBA Finals.

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But apparently it was title or bust for Williams this year, even though Chris Paul was once again injured in the playoffs and the Suns got little from their supporting cast, including Deandre Ayton, who is now reportedly on the trade block.

So Williams is taking the fall for his team’s second-round exit against Denver, putting another quality coach on the market who has ties to Troy Weaver.

The Detroit Pistons had reportedly narrowed their selection to three finalists, but with Williams unexpectedly available, that may change.

Detroit Pistons: Coaching search takes another surprising turn with Monty Williams

It had been reported that Kevin Ollie was Troy Weaver’s frontrunner for the head coaching job, but that was before Williams was available.

Williams has had a long coaching career that started back as an intern for the San Antonio Spurs, where he won a title. He was an assistant at Portland, the head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans/Hornets and did a stint as an associate head coach of OKC  and a year as an assistant in Philly before finally getting another head gig in Phoenix.

Williams is known as a “player’s coach” who is well liked by his guys, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the X’s and O’s, as the Suns finished in the top half of the league in both offense and defense every year under Williams, who got them as high as 4th and 3rd last year, respectively.

Williams’ offense is known for quick decisions (the .5 second offense) and spacing, two areas where the Detroit Pistons need a lot of help. He also built a top defense in Phoenix out of a team that had won 19 games the year before he took over, so he has a track record of turning teams around.

He and Troy Weaver are very familiar with one another after his time in OKC, and Williams exemplifies the kind of culture and results the Pistons are hoping to cultivate.

Though he has not yet officially been mentioned by the Detroit Pistons, you’d have to think a guy like Williams is on their radar, as he has a track record of doing exactly what the Pistons are trying to do, which is change the worst team in the league into a contender.

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