Monty Williams and the Pistons agree to a long-term head coaching contract

Monty Williams will be the Detroit Pistons' next head coach.  (Harry Comment/Getty Images)

Monty Williams will be the Detroit Pistons’ next head coach. (Harry Comment/Getty Images)

The Detroit Pistons have reached an agreement with Monty Williams to become their next head coach, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.

The pact is significant, with the Pistons coming to the table on a six-year deal that averages $12 million per season, plus two additional team option years, sources said. Pistons owner Tom Gores, as he was in the case of Dwane Casey in 2018, has been heavily involved in Williams’ court after hitting the coaching market a few weeks ago.

The Pistons were in talks with Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Charles Lee and Overtime Elite’s Kevin Ollie, and Lee had taken pole position of the two. The Pistons initially made overtures to Williams, but Williams seemed unsure about coaching this season and sought to take a year off.

The relationship between Pistons general manager Troy Weaver and Williams dates back to Williams’ days at Oklahoma City, and Gores has stayed in touch with Williams over the past few days as Williams began to reconsider training next season.

It was then that the Pistons began to feel more optimistic and prepared their first offer for Williams; things started to move quickly after that, with the parameters of a deal being discussed over the weekend.

“We kept the conversation warm,” a source said.

Gores and Williams met in Los Angeles on Sunday as momentum built. Gores had also met Lee and Ollie several times throughout this long process. Lee and Ollie would have been head coaches for the first time.

Williams has a track record that Gores focused on, especially when the Pistons identified the principles for their next head coach: defense, discipline and development.

Williams took the Phoenix Suns within two wins of a championship and then led them to the NBA’s best record in 2021-22. The Suns hadn’t made the playoffs since 2010 before Williams arrived, and the season before he arrived they had won just 19 games.

The Pistons haven’t won a playoff game since 2008 and have been rebuilding for a few years. They expected to make a jump last season, but when Cade Cunningham was lost to surgery early in the season, they were in Victor Wembanyama’s draw – tied for the best chances.

In the end, they fell to fifth in the lottery and will add another young player to their hoard or perhaps wrap up the pick for a veteran. In addition to Cunningham, Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren made progress throughout the season and made it into the All-Rookie second team.

The Pistons believe Williams will develop their young core. They think they have the best coach in the business and are putting their money where it counts to get Williams back on the sidelines.