The Detroit Pistons have reached an agreement to hire former Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams, according to two people familiar with the situation.
One of the people, who asked to remain anonymous because the agreement wasn’t disclosed, told the Associated Press Wednesday night that Williams had agreed to a six-year deal.
Phoenix fired Williams more than two weeks ago, two years after he reached the NBA Finals and a year after he won the league’s Coach of the Year award.
Williams, 51, won 63% of his games with the Suns in four regular seasons, but Phoenix was eliminated in the Western Conference semifinals two straight years after losing to Milwaukee in the 2021 NBA Finals.
The Pistons would be excited to reach that level of success under Williams in the near future.
Detroit won an NBA-low 17 games last season and lost 30% or fewer games for the fourth straight season under Dwane Casey, who resigned as coach with a year left on his contract to include a front office role take over.
The Pistons were unlucky in the draft lottery, finishing 5th overall for the second straight year and missing an opportunity to draft Victor Wembanyama.
Detroit, a franchise that has won the NBA championship three times, has only secured a playoff berth twice in 14 years.
Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren, who were No. 5 and 13 overall last summer, offered hope for the future with their game last season. Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 pick overall in 2021, had his sophomore season held back by shin surgery after playing just 12 games.
Bojan Bogdanovic, who averaged a career-high 21.6 points, Isaiah Stewart, James Wiseman and Marvin Bagley are expected to be back.
The young team with some experienced players in the rotation will have a proven leader on the bench.
Williams has a 367-336 record and a 29-27 postseason record in nine seasons as NBA head coach. He played for the New Orleans Pelicans for five years, who released him in 2015 with a 173-221 record and two playoff appearances.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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