Detroit Pistons: The problem with firing Monty Williams

Indiana Pacers v Detroit Pistons
Indiana Pacers v Detroit Pistons / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

At 13-65 with just four games remaining, the Detroit Pistons are on the cusp of their worst season in franchise history. 

Normally when you see something like this, you can expect a slew of firings at the end of the season from the front office to the coaching staff, but there is no certainty with the Detroit Pistons this summer. 

The Pistons are in year four of their rebuild, but you wouldn’t know it, as their roster needs overhauling again, with at least six open roster spots this offseason and a team that hasn’t progressed and doesn’t fit together. 

But the Pistons are in an awkward position with both their front office and coaching staff, as both are locked into long-term deals. Troy Weaver’s extension doesn’t begin until next season and Monty Williams still has six years remaining on his deal after this one. 

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Both have taken plenty of heat this season, but recently, it has been Williams bearing the brunt of it, as his team has regressed, isn’t consistently playing hard and he’s been flat-out bad no matter how you want to measure it. 

Firing Monty Williams is an option, even if Gores has to eat six years of money, a problem fans shouldn’t care anything about. Gores is filthy rich, and it was his call to hire Monty Williams, so maybe he should feel the sting of paying a guy millions to go away. 

But this isn’t just about money, there are other problems with firing Monty Williams. 

Monty Williams can’t be the only one the Detroit Pistons fire 

If Gores wanted to take the financial hit and then give a press conference where he admitted Monty was his idea and that he went over the head of his GM, then fine, fire him, but otherwise, I don’t see how you can fire Monty without firing everyone else. 

For one, Monty Williams did not build this team and has far less to do with this outcome than Troy Weaver, who has been quantifiably bad at several parts of his job. 

Also, what are your coaching options going to look like when the GM has no job security (which he won’t, even if he isn’t fired), the team is an abject mess, and you just watched a former Coach of the Year get canned after one miserable season?  

If I were one of the top candidates and the Pistons were the only opening, I’d be inclined to wait it out as there is no guarantee that the guy who hired you will still have a job in a year or even less. 

If the Pistons were to bomb again next season, they would have to fire Weaver and then what? You are now stuck with another coach under contract who Weaver hired and is now wondering about his own job security. Would you then start over with a new GM and another new coach? 

It’s hard to see a way out of this cycle without firing everyone simultaneously and starting over with a new GM who has some job security and will be allowed to have input on the next coach.