One factor in why Monty Williams ultimately decided to coach the Pistons is because he has “great respect and belief” in general manager Troy Weaver‘s ability to evaluate and recruit talent, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic reports in his latest mailbag.
Edwards was responding to a reader’s question regarding how much input Williams will have on the roster this offseason. In short, Edwards writes that while Williams’ opinion will be taken into account, Weaver will have final say on personnel decisions.
Edwards also hears Amen Thompson and Ausar Thompson — twin brothers who are ranked Nos. 4 and 5 on ESPN’s big board — were spotted in Detroit last week, so it’s safe to assume they were there working out for the Pistons, who don’t publicly disclose who they’re hosting during the pre-draft process. Still, Edwards downplays the significance of their attendance, as the Pistons will certainly be working out several other potential top-10 picks — they currently control the fifth pick.
Here’s more on the Pistons:
- Within the same mailbag, Edwards says he has been consistently told that owner Tom Gores is willing to be a taxpayer if and when the time comes. Edwards also thinks the Pistons would be open to trading the fifth pick if the right opportunity arises.
- A couple of legendary former college coaches, Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim, previously worked with Williams on Team USA. Both spoke glowingly of their former colleague, according to Mike Curtis of The Detroit News (subscriber link). “Monty and I are very special friends,” Krzyzewski told Curtis. “I love him and I think the world of him. He’s an outstanding coach and he’s an outstanding person. His ability to relate to the players was just fantastic. His knowledge of the game — he’s just a good teacher and he’s a team player. He’s very humble, not about him. It’s about what the team is doing, and I think the world of him. He helped me so much during that time.” Krzyzewski is now a special adviser in the NBA’s league office.
- “Several” Suns assistant coaches, including Mark Bryant, are expected to join Williams’ staff in Detroit, reports Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. Dan Burke, a longtime assistant with the Pacers who has been with the Sixers the past three seasons, is also expected to join the Pistons, sources tell Fischer.