If Monty Williams hadn’t accepted an extremely lucrative offer to become the Pistons‘ new head coach, the team likely would’ve ended up deciding between Kevin Ollie and Charles Lee. According to reporting from Shams Charania and James L. Edwards III of The Athletic and Omari Sankofa of The Detroit Free Press (subscription required), the Pistons met again with Ollie last Thursday and Lee on Friday before convening on Saturday to discuss their options.
Team sources who spoke to The Athletic said that both Ollie and Lee impressed the franchise “in different ways,” but the Pistons decided to circle back to Williams once more after he had rebuffed their initial advances.
Following Saturday’s meeting between Pistons ownership and management, team owner Tom Gores sent a private plane to pick up Williams in Phoenix on Sunday and flew him to Gores’ home in California. One day later, on Memorial Day, the Pistons made a formal offer to Williams, who agreed to the “fundamentals of the terms” but took a couple more days to weigh his decision before deciding on Wednesday to accept Detroit’s offer.
Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic takes a look at what the Pistons are getting in Williams, writing that the veteran coach will demand accountability in Detroit and is capable of building and nurturing a positive culture like he did in Phoenix.
Here’s more from around the Central:
- There’s plenty to like about the Bucks‘ decision to hire Adrian Griffin as their new head coach, according to Lori Nickel of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who views Griffin’s extensive and varied experience as both a player and a coach as a good sign that he’ll be able to connect with players of all skill levels and backgrounds.
- In a mailbag for The Athletic, Eric Nehm considers the Bucks‘ next moves with Khris Middleton (player option for 2023/24) and Brook Lopez (UFA). As Nehm points out, Milwaukee’s cap situation would make it difficult to find suitable replacements for Middleton and/or Lopez if they’re not brought back, but the team may still have some leverage in contract talks with the duo if cap-room teams don’t prioritize the Bucks’ vets.
- Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star breaks down the pros and cons of some of the players who could be available for the Pacers with the No. 7 overall pick, including Cam Whitmore, Ausar Thompson, Taylor Hendricks, and Anthony Black.
- After wrapping up his college career at Iowa this spring, Connor McCaffery – the son of Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery – is taking what he refers to as an “entry-level” job with the Pacers, per Chad Leistikow of The Des Moines Register. “I’ll play dummy defense, run the scout team, help coaches on film stuff, help on video projects if they need, scouting reports if they need,” the 24-year-old said. “It’s kind of all-hands on deck, whatever you’re asked to do, be ready to do it.”