Pistons news: What does coaching hire mean for Monty Williams?

Apr 5, 2024; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Detroit Pistons head coach Monty Williams Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 5, 2024; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Detroit Pistons head coach Monty Williams Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Fans of the Detroit Pistons have been waiting patiently for an announcement about the coaching situation. 

We finally got one yesterday, but it was not the information some fans were hoping for. 

Adrian Wojnarowski first reported that the Pistons had poached assistant coach Fred Vinson from the New Orleans Pelicans. 

This is a fantastic hire for the Pistons, as Vinson is highly respected shooting coach who has helped fix the shots of guys like Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Herb Jones among others, who all rave about him. I wrote a full profile on Vinson a few weeks ago, hoping Langdon would bring him along to Detroit. 

This hire is not only great for guys like Ausar Thompson and Jaden Ivey but shows how people feel about Trajan Langdon, as both Michael Blackstone and now Vinson, defected from a great situation in New Orleans to follow him to Detroit. 

But many fans were not focused on the fact that the Pistons landed a great coach, but on the wording of the announcement, which said “joining Monty Williams’ Detroit Pistons staff,” an indication that Williams would be returning. 

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First off, can we relax a bit? I had readers in my mentions declaring this was a travesty and that next season was now over. Take a deep breath and go outside for a little while. 

Despite the wording of the Woj bomb, Monty Williams’ future in Detroit is still up in the air. 

Does this mean Monty Williams is staying with the Detroit Pistons? 

I have no idea. 

But the hire of Fred Vinson is not an indication one way or the other. Vinson is one of Langdon’s guys, a coach he obviously wanted to bring with him, so it’s likely he would have pursued him regardless of the plans for Monty Williams. 

And it makes sense. The Pistons have long been one of the worst shooting teams in the league and one of their top young players needs a mentor. It’s an easy call. 

Williams is not as easy. 

He had a bad first season in Detroit and I don’t think anyone would argue that fact, including him. Williams made inexplicable lineup and rotation choices and at times looked checked out and like he wanted to be anywhere else. 

In his defense, he was given a garbage roster to work with, probably saw the writing on the wall for Troy Weaver and realized this team was getting a reboot anyway. That’s not an excuse, but it’s not as if Williams suddenly forgot how to coach, he has a long track record of success in the NBA, and if the Pistons fired him, he’d have a job the next day if he wanted it. 

So, it wouldn’t be shocking if Langdon decided to bring Monty back to see what he can do with a better roster and less turmoil in the front office. 

But it also wouldn’t be shocking if Langdon saw enough to show Monty the door. The Vinson hire won’t affect that decision either way. 

And Vinson is a guy who has interviewed for head coaching jobs himself. He’s well regarded around the league and players love him, so if Monty does stick around and things go south, Vinson is a guy who could step in if needed. 

This is a roundabout way of saying I have no idea what Langdon will do regarding Monty Williams, but the hire of Fred Vinson is a positive either way, not some alarming omen.