Detroit Pistons seriously pursuing old New Orleans coach

Monty Williams. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Monty Williams. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

On Wednesday, news came out that the Detroit Pistons are seriously pursuing former Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Pelicans (then Hornets when he was there) coach Monty Williams to be their next head coach.

This is the intel that was given in an article from The Athletic’s Shams Charania and James L. Edwards:

"“Nearly two months after Dwane Casey stepped down from his role as head coach, the Detroit Pistons are heavily pursuing Monty Williams, the NBA’s winningest coach since 2021, to be their next man in charge, league sources tell The Athletic.”“The Pistons are preparing to offer Williams in the range of $10 million per year, league sources said, which would put him among the league’s highest-paid coaches. Detroit has been hopeful over the past several weeks that Williams would consider accepting the job, sources added.”"

This is meaningful to fans of the Pelicans for two reasons. First, Monty Williams, as we alluded to in the introduction, was once New Orleans’ head coach. He coached the team from 2010 to 2015 – leading the team to the playoffs twice in that time. Fun fact: he actually coached the team through the rebranding from the Hornets to the Pelicans.

Seeing that the Pistons were still in full-on pursuit of his services was also interesting because it was reported not too long ago that the team made him an offer that he turned down. Was that initial reporting incorrect? Has seeing the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers positions fill up caused him to rethink his decision? Are the Pistons just throwing money at the wall and hoping it sticks? Who knows.

The other reason this matters is because Pelicans Lead Assistant Coach Jarron Collins was also in the running for this position. He already looked like he was out of contention for the job after Detroit scheduled Kevin Ollie and Bucks’ assistant Charles Lee for a third round of interviews but failed to do the same with Collins. However, this new information likely puts the final nail in the coffin as it pertains to his chances of landing that gig.

Collins got his start on the coaching/scouting side of things in 2013 as a scout for the Clippers. From there, Collins joined Head Coach Steve Kerr’s staff upon Kerr’s arrival at Golden State in 2014.

At Golden State, he started out as a player development coach, but after only one season, he was promoted to assistant coach. In total, he spent seven seasons with the organization, contributing to three NBA titles in the process. Collins has been Head Coach Willie Green’s lead assistant since Green was named to the position back in 2021.

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