NBA Draft, Free Agency Targets, Monty Williams, More


Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Scotto: Once Monty Williams hit the market, there was this thought that if they got the No. 1 pick and Victor Wembanyama, maybe it would appeal more to Williams. Instead, they had to open the wallet more to make him consider it. The word around the league was that Troy Weaver liked Kevin Ollie, and Arn Tellem was a fan of his former client Jarron Collins. Charles Lee was also in the mix. But as the process dragged out, there was a sense around the league that Detroit wasn’t enamored with their three finalists, and it was clear when they broke the bank and reset the market essentially for Williams, who showed in Phoenix, he can turn around a culture. When that deal happened, coaching agents were smiling ear to ear across the league. One texted me, “Monty’s deal is good for business.”

Edwards: I think early on, Ollie appeared to be the favorite of Weaver. The whole group liked Lee and Collins as well. They were all impressed with them and were serious candidates. I think as the process played out, Monty became available, and the Pistons checked the temperature. To my knowledge, Monty was telling not just the Pistons but other teams that he was likely to take a year off. If he wasn’t, he wasn’t in a space to have conversations at that point and wanted to wait a little bit. The Pistons left it alone and advanced with Ollie and Lee.

Right before they went and got Monty, the group had come to a collective decision that Lee was going to be the pick. His second interview really sealed that home for a lot of people, everyone in the front office, until they sat down as a group, I’m told, and explored and made sure this was what they wanted to do. The owner brought up bringing one more run at Monty. They make the run, break the bank, and Monty is the coach.

I agree that not getting No. 1 probably cost the owner several tens of millions of dollars. I think Monty would’ve been more inclined off that, but I also think he has a genuine interest in coaching the Pistons. Obviously, money is a big part of it. His relationship with Troy, who he has great respect for, and what he does. Monty is a big Cade (Cunningham) fan. He’s had success before building a team from the bottom and making them consistent mainstays.

I didn’t get the exact details on (incentives). I’d imagine there are playoff and championship triggers.


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