3. Hired Monty Williams
Signed Monty Williams to a 6-year, $78.5 million contract to be their head coach.
There are two ways to look at the massive contract handed to new head coach Monty Williams. It’s not just relatively lucrative; it’s the kind of deal that completely resets the coaching market. Is it wise to spend so much money on a head coach?
The one view suggests that this deal is problematic; Williams was just fired from a team for falling short in the playoffs and for feuding with players. Giving him such an expensive deal makes it extremely unlikely he will be fired for the next half-decade due to the dead money involved, especially since he has already indicated his comfort level sitting out one or more seasons to be with his family. If Williams does poorly, he’s likely to stick around for quite a while.
The other view, however, applauds the Pistons for using the rules of the CBA to their advantage. They can’t simply pay players extra money, but coach salaries are outside of the salary cap. If they identified Williams as the best available coach, paying him so much is technically only money out of the owner’s pocket. If he’s willing to spend, then he should do so.
Our grade falls more on the positive side of the ledger, as Williams has an incredibly solid track record of developing young talent. He is the kind of mature voice that young basketball players need in their life, and he will help the culture of the Pistons develop. If he isn’t the best tactical coach for the playoffs, he will help the Pistons reach that point with a better team than they otherwise would.