Pistons To Hire Fred Vinson As Assistant Coach

Longtime Pelicans assistant Fred Vinson is leaving New Orleans after 14 years with the organization, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who reports (via Twitter) that Vinson will be joining Monty Williams‘ coaching staff with the Pistons.

A professional player in the NBA and several other leagues around the world from 1994-2007, Vinson transitioned into coaching in 2008, spending two years with the Clippers before joining the Pelicans (the Hornets at the time). He worked under Williams from 2011-15, then remained with the team under three more head coaches (Alvin Gentry, Stan Van Gundy, and Willie Green).

As Wojnarowski notes, Vinson is highly regarded for his expertise as a shooting instructor. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer (Twitter link) refers to the veteran assistant as one of the NBA’s top “shot doctors,” pointing to improvements made by Lonzo Ball and Herbert Jones, among others. New Orleans ranked fourth in the NBA this past season with a .383 3PT%.

While the hiring of Vinson looks like a strong signal that Williams will be coaching the Pistons next season, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic (Twitter links) cautions not to read too much into it. As Edwards points out, new Pistons president of basketball operations Trajan Langdon is close with Vinson from their time together in New Orleans, and Detroit was in need of a shooting specialist.

Langdon has reportedly been given the green light to make a head coaching change if he decides it’s in the best interests of the franchise, despite the five seasons remaining on Williams’ six-year, $78MM deal. However, the deeper we get into the team’s offseason without a move being made, the less likely it appears that a change will occur before the 2024/25 season.

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