Sun, 24 Sep 2023

Monty Williams has agreed to become the head coach of the Detroit Pistons. /CFP

The Detroit Pistons have reached an agreement with former Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams to hire him as the team's new boss with a six-year, $78.5 million contract, the best deal for the job in NBA history, according to ESPN.

The contract also includes team options to extend to the seventh and eighth years, as well as incentives that can bring the deal close to $100 million, The Athletic revealed.

Williams was fired by the Suns after they lost to the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Western Conference semifinals this season. Having taken over the team in May 2019, he led the Suns to a 194-115 regular-season record and a 27-19 postseason record. They reached the NBA Finals in 2021 and set a new franchise record of 64 wins during the 2021-22 campaign.

Cade Cunningham (#2) of the Detroit Pistons dribbles in the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan, November 7, 2022. /CFP

The Suns were purchased by United Wholesale Mortgage CEO Mat Ishbia in February and landed future Hall of Famer Kevin Durant in a blockbuster deal before the trade deadline in mid-February. However, they still failed to achieve a breakthrough in the playoffs, which cost Williams his job.

The Pistons had been under Dwane Casey since 2018, with a 121-263 record in the regular seasons. They entered the playoffs once in 2019, but were swept by the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. Casey stepped down as the Pistons' head coach after the 2022-23 season and joined the team's front office.

The Pistons won only 17 of their 82 games this season, the worst of all 30 teams. However, they didn't get the first overall pick at the NBA Draft Lottery in mid-May. Instead, the team only has the fifth pick in the first round.

Jaden Ivey of the Detroit Pistons dribbles in the game against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, April 9, 2023. /CFP

The Pistons have some talented young players on their roster, including Cade Cunningham (No. 1 selection of 2021), Jaden Ivey (No. 5 selection of 2022) and Jalen Duren (No. 13 selection of 2022). Cunningham made 12 appearances for the team this season before he was ruled out due to shin surgery. Ivey and Duren are still getting used to NBA-level competition in their initial seasons.

The Pistons' No. 1 scorer this season is Bojan Bogdanovic, who has averaged a career-high 21.6 points per game. Unlike what many had expected, he stayed in Detroit during the NBA trade deadline. Nonetheless, the team will need to add better players than Marvin Bagley, Isaiah Stewart and James Wiseman to the lineup if they want to make a difference in the 2023-24 season.

Source: CGTN

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