The Detroit Pistons are doing their due diligence when it comes to finding their next head coach, but it appears they are going to have to turn to plan B.
This search has taken interesting turns, as it started with several candidates, three of whom were named “finalists.”
But it wasn’t so final, as owner Tom Gores wanted to expand the search. Based solely on reports, it appears as if Gores may want someone a little more experienced, while the guys Troy Weaver sent his way would all be first-time head coaches in the NBA.
That was confirmed by Marc Stein (SUBSCRIPTION REQUIRED), who said that the Detroit Pistons made an offer to veteran coach Monty Williams that was ultimately unsuccessful:
"“League sources say that the Pistons, even after they failed to win the Victor Wembanyama Sweepstakes in the draft lottery, went through with their intent to make a big-money offer to Williams in hopes that the former Suns coach could be lured straight into a new job. It appears that plan…was unsuccessful…It is not yet known if the Pistons will broaden their search or choose from among their previously known finalists, with former UConn coach Kevin Ollie and Bucks associate head coach Charles Lee said to be heading for a second meeting with Pistons owner Tom Gores. There has been a consistent buzz in coaching circles that Pistons GM Troy Weaver wants the job to go to Ollie.”"
It’s good to see the Pistons at least tried to land one of the top coaching candidates available, and though the optics of getting shot down aren’t great (it makes the job seem less unappealing), in the end, it didn’t change much.
Detroit identified their candidates early and has stuck with them. Williams was an unexpected addition to the coaching list and it’s possible that he won’t coach anywhere, as he has made overtures about spending more time with this family.
It’s the end of Stein’s statement that could cause some issues this summer.
Detroit Pistons news: Troy Weaver and Kevin Ollie
Based on reports, Troy Weaver’s #1 guy has been Kevin Ollie, former head coach of UCONN, and a guy Weaver has a personal relationship with from their time at OKC.
One thing is for sure, if the Pistons want Ollie, they can get him, as there aren’t any other teams vying for his services. Unlike Charles Lee or Chris Quinn, other NBA teams haven’t bothered to interview Ollie at all.
This makes him an extremely risky hire for Weaver, who would essentially be putting his job on the line by hiring Ollie.
If he is pushing for Ollie, and it doesn’t work out, it’s going to come directly back to Weaver, unlike previous coach Dwane Casey, who was leftover from the previous regime.
This will 100 percent be Weaver’s guy, so he had better be certain about him. I’m sure Gores will have the final say, but he’s going to rely on intel from his GM, so Weaver’s choice is going to carry a lot of weight.
In reality, it is great that the Pistons are making sure they get this right. There is no need to rush with the draft nearly a month away, and it’s more important to get the right person than to do it quickly.
But optics also matter, and from the outside, this looks like a bit of a clown show. The Pistons got shot down by the best candidate and their plan B is a guy no one else wants, not a great look for a franchise that is trying to convince fans things are about to change.
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