After a challenging first season, the Detroit Pistons have parted ways with head coach Monty Williams, Yahoo Sports confirmed. The announcement came from the team shortly before noon on Wednesday.

“Decisions like these are difficult to make, and I want to thank Monty for his hard work and dedication,” said Pistons owner Tom Gores in a statement. “Coaching has many dynamic challenges that emerge during a season and Monty always handled those with grace. However, after reviewing our performance carefully and assessing our current position as an organization, we will chart a new course moving forward.”

“I have great respect for Monty as a coach and as a person, and I am certain he will be successful in his future endeavors,” Gores added. “I sincerely wish him and his family the very best.”

Williams’ tenure in Detroit lasted just one season, following four successful years with the Phoenix Suns and a five-year stint with the New Orleans Pelicans. Despite his previous successes, the Pistons struggled under his leadership, winning only 14 games and finishing last in the Eastern Conference. The team set an NBA record with 28 consecutive losses, a skid that was finally broken in late December.

Williams still has five years and over $65 million remaining on his contract. The decision to fire him came after the Pistons hired Trajan Langdon as their new president last month. However, the final decision was made by owner Tom Gores. The news was first reported by ESPN.

At the end of the 2022-23 season, former head coach Dwane Casey stepped down to take a front-office position, allowing general manager Troy Weaver to make his first head-coaching hire in Detroit. Weaver chose Williams, offering him a six-year, $78.5 million contract with a two-year team option that could have reached over $100 million. Weaver and Williams had previously worked together in Oklahoma City, fostering a professional relationship.

The Pistons have had four consecutive lottery picks, including Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 overall pick in 2021. Other notable draft picks include Killian Hayes (No. 7 in 2020), Jaden Ivey (No. 5 in 2022), and Ausar Thompson (No. 5 in 2023). Hayes started 31 games for Detroit last season but was waived on February 8. The team holds the No. 5 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, set to begin on June 26.

Despite the challenges, the Pistons are looking to rebuild and move forward. The upcoming draft and the search for a new head coach will be crucial steps in this process. Monty Williams’ departure marks a significant shift for the organization as they seek to improve their performance and position within the NBA.



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