Jarron Collins

James Borrego To Be Pelicans’ Associate Head Coach

Former Hornets head coach James Borrego will join the Pelicans as associate head coach under Willie Green, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Borrego and Green have worked together before, notes Andrew Lopez of ESPN (Twitter link). Borrego was an assistant in New Orleans when Green played there in 2010/11, and he served as an assistant in Orlando during Green’s final season as an NBA player in 2014/15.

The 45-year-old Borrego was reportedly one of the leading contenders for the Rockets’ head coaching vacancy and was among the candidates the Bucks considered to replace Mike Budenholzer. He drew a lot of interest as an assistant coach as well, with Houston, Milwaukee, Brooklyn and Dallas among the teams that reportedly wanted him to join their staffs.

The Pelicans also considered Kevin Ollie, one of the finalists for the Pistons’ head coaching job, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Ollie is reportedly taking an assistant role on the Nets’ staff.

Jarron Collins, another top candidate for the Detroit vacancy, will also return to Green’s staff for next season, tweets Christian Clark of NOLA.

Borrego spent four years as head coach in Charlotte before being fired in 2022. He compiled a 138-163 record with the Hornets and took the team to two play-in appearances. He also went 10-20 as interim coach of the Magic in 2015.

Pistons Hire Monty Williams As Head Coach

JUNE 2: In a lengthy press release, the Pistons announced that Williams is officially the team’s new head coach. The Pistons also described how the agreement came to pass.

I couldn’t be more proud to have Monty joining us at this important time to lead us into the next decade of our future,” said Gores. “He embodies all of the qualities we want in a leader for our Pistons franchise, and most importantly a teacher and mentor for our players. He will have an impact on every aspect of our franchise, on and off the court.

After spending some time with Monty, it’s clear that he’s found a unique balance between achieving victory at the highest level while at the same time nurturing a culture of growth, development and inspiration. I’m beyond excited. This is a huge win for us.”

MAY 31: Monty Williams has reached an agreement to become the next head coach of the Pistons, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. The former Suns coach will receive a six-year contract and the deal is expected to be finalized within a few days, sources tell Charania.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports Williams’ salary as $78.5MM, which makes it the largest coaching contract in league history (Twitter link).

The agreement also includes two additional team option years and could reach $100MM with incentives, according to Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo. Owner Tom Gores was heavily involved in the recruitment of Williams, Goodwill adds, as was general manager Troy Weaver, who worked with Williams in Oklahoma City.

Williams rejected Detroit’s initial interest and had planned to take a year off before coaching again. However, Gores remained in contact with Williams and was able to get him to reconsider, Goodwill writes. The team prepared an offer and negotiations began over the weekend, sources tell Goodwill, adding that Gores and Williams held their first meeting Sunday night in Los Angeles.

The Pistons began an interview process shortly after Dwane Casey resigned to take a management role after the regular season ended. Former Overtime Elite head coach Kevin Ollie, Bucks assistant Charles Lee, and Pelicans assistant Jarron Collins were reported as the three finalists for the position way back on April 21, but the Pistons waited to see if a more experienced coach would become available.

With a young roster highlighted by former overall No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham, the Pistons are hoping that Williams can transform them the same way he turned around Phoenix after arriving in 2019. Williams took the Suns to the NBA Finals in 2021 and compiled a 194-115 record in four seasons, but new owner Mat Ishbia opted to make a coaching change after a second straight disappointing playoff exit.

Pistons Continue To Pursue Monty Williams

The Pistons remain in heavy pursuit of Monty Williams for their head coaching position, according to Shams Charania and James L. Edwards III of The Athletic.

Detroit has been hopeful since Williams was dismissed by Phoenix that he’d consider accepting the Pistons’ job and is preparing an offer in the neighborhood of $10MM per year for the veteran coach, league sources tell Charania and Edwards.

Marc Stein has been on top of this story, reporting last week that the Pistons’ efforts to hire Williams with a “big-money” offer had thus far been unsuccessful, then following up a few days later to say that the team may not have given up on the idea of landing Williams.

When Williams was let go by Phoenix, he still had $20MM+ left on his contract with the team, so there was a sense that he wouldn’t be in any rush to take another head coaching job this offseason. He told interested teams, including the Pistons and Bucks, that he was leaning toward taking a year off, per Charania and Edwards. However, the Pistons appear to be doing all they can to convince him to change his plans.

Reports earlier in May indicated that Detroit had narrowed its head coaching search to Bucks assistant Charles Lee, former Overtime Elite head coach Kevin Ollie, and Pelicans assistant Jarron Collins, but those three candidates have been referred to as finalists for weeks, with little indication that the club was nearing a decision.

If Williams ultimately decides to turn down the Pistons’ pitch, Lee is expected to be the team’s next choice, sources tell The Athletic. Lee and Ollie have both met twice with team owner Tom Gores and general manager Troy Weaver and remain in contention to replace Dwane Casey on Detroit’s bench, according to Charania and Edwards.

Eastern Notes: Love, Hornets’ Workouts, Pistons

Kevin Love departed Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals in the first half due to a strained lower left leg, but he’ll likely play in Game 4 on Tuesday, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. The Heat big man says he’ll be “ready to go” as Miami looks to close out the series.

“It just felt like, honestly, a muscle cramp and was kind of off and on,” said Love, who was acquired by the Heat via the buyout market. “So I just wanted to ask to come out, wanted to be smart about it, tell Coach (Erik Spoelstra) that I could go back in if needed. At halftime we’d had a conversation. We were up 15. I said I was available. But then the score just got upwards of 20, 30. And from that point on, I just figured I’d get my treatment, make sure I was all good.”

We have more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Hornets held a pre-draft workout for six prospects on Monday, the team tweets. Baylor’s Jalen Bridges, Akron’s Xavier Castaneda, Pittsburgh’s Nelly Cummings, Miami’s Jordan Miller, Appalachian State’s Tamell Pearson and Kansas State’s Nae’Qwan Tomlin were the visitors.
  • Pelicans assistant Jarron Collins, Bucks assistant Charles Lee and former Overtime Elite coach Kevin Ollie remain finalists for the Pistons’ head coaching job, James Edwards III of The Athletic tweets. The trio will meet with the team’s brass again this week, with Edwards adding that he wouldn’t be surprised if former Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer and former Suns coach Monty Williams take the year off.
  • Speaking of the Pistons, what are their lottery options now that they’ve dropped to No. 5 in the draft? Edwards explores that topic and lists a handful of prospects who could be available at that spot, including Alabama forward Brandon Miller if he slides down the draft board. If he doesn’t, Houston’s Jarace Walker or Villanova’s Cam Whitmore could be the pick.

Coaching Rumors: Lue, Popovich, Pistons, Raptors, Udoka

The Bucks and Suns are rumored to be interested in Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue, but he’s still under contract for two more seasons, though only one of those is thought to be guaranteed.

There’s growing skepticism among those close to the coach and the Clippers that a rival team would be able to poach Lue away, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

The Clippers still hope to contend for championships going forward despite another disappointing playoff exit in 2022/23, and owner Steve Ballmer is known to be a “huge fan” of Lue. As Fischer observes, the Bucks and Suns also don’t have much in the form of future first-round picks, which would likely be necessary to acquire Lue — assuming the Clippers would even permit a rival to interview him, and there’s no indication they would — while he’s still under contract.

The Bucks do have their 2029 first-rounder available, but Fischer suggests they’ll likely use it to acquire a player — either this offseason or in the future. Sources tell Fischer that Milwaukee contemplated dealing the pick to try to land Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic ahead of the February trade deadline.

Here are some more coaching rumors from around the NBA:

  • Gregg Popovich, the longest-tenured head coach in the league, is expected to stay with the Spurs for as long as he wants to continue coaching, and there’s no indication that the Hall-of-Famer plans to retire next season, especially after San Antonio won the draft lottery. However, Popovich’s contract expired at the end of the season, and he hasn’t signed a new deal yet, sources tell Fischer.
  • The fact that the Pistons have yet to hire one of their three coaching finalists has left coaching agents around the league wondering if they’ll reopen their search and consider more candidates, Fischer writes. The three finalists — Kevin Ollie, Charles Lee and Jarron Collins — met with owner Tom Gores last week, Fischer confirms. Detroit is thought to have interest in Monty Williams, who was fired by the Suns last week, so that might explain the holdup. That said, Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com hears from sources that the job is expected to come down to either Ollie or Collins (Twitter link).
  • According to Fischer, the Raptors hope to be “blown away” in an interview with one of their long list of coaching candidates. Toronto is believed to be open to an “unconventional” choice. Assistant coaches Jim Sann and Rico Hanes are expected to be retained regardless of who is named head coach, sources tell Fischer.
  • Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated hears (via Twitter) that Ime Udoka “wants to do right” by his former Celtics assistants, and will extend those interested an invitation to join him with the Rockets after his unceremonious departure from Boston. Royal Ivey, who worked with Udoka on the Nets, recently joined his staff in Houston.

Pistons Notes: Coaching Search, Free Agency, Cunningham

First named as the frontrunners for the Pistons‘ head coaching job back on April 21, former UConn and Overtime Elite head coach Kevin Ollie, Bucks assistant Charles Lee, and Pelicans assistant Jarron Collins are still considered the finalists for the position, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

A previous report indicated that the top candidates for the Pistons’ coaching vacancy would meet with the organization’s top decision-makers, including owner Tom Gores. Charania confirms that those meetings are happening this week and that they’ll involve Ollie, Lee, and Collins.

Interviews with ownership typically represent the final stage of a head coaching search, so barring a new candidate entering the mix at the 11th hour, it seems possible that the Pistons could make a decision by the end of the week.

Here’s more out of Detroit:

Pistons Notes: Coaching Search, Ollie, Murphy, Draft Picks

The Pistons could hire a new head coach soon, according to James L. Edwards III of The Athletic, who reports in his latest mailbag that the top candidates for the job are set to meet with owner Tom Gores next week in Los Angeles.

Bucks associate head coach Charles Lee, former Connecticut and Overtime Elite coach Kevin Ollie, and Pelicans assistant Jarron Collins are considered the leading candidates. However, Edwards believes that Ollie, a former NBA player, is the frontrunner for the position.

Here’s more on the Pistons:

  • DeJanai Raska says she was sexually harassed and assaulted by former assistant GM Rob Murphy over a period of several months, she tells Tresa Baldas of The Detroit Free Press (subscriber link). There are too many details to list here, but Raska reported her allegations to the Pistons last fall. The team put Murphy on leave, but didn’t announce that he was fired until after Raska sued both the organization and Murphy. “I grew up in the city really looking up to the Pistons, the Bad Boys … and to be treated this way is heartbreaking,” Raska said.
  • Who are the top five prospects Detroit should be considering with its first-round pick, which can land no lower than fifth overall? Edwards ranks those players in order for The Athletic. Obviously Victor Wembanyama is No. 1, but Brandon Miller edges out Scoot Henderson for No. 2. Rounding out Edwards’ top five are Henderson, Houston forward Jarace Walker and Arkansas guard Anthony Black.
  • On a related topic, if the pick does land fifth in the lottery — and there’s a 47.9% chance that it will — who should the Pistons select? Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press (subscriber link) makes the case for Villanova wing Cam Whitmore, arguing that his physical tools and flashes of shooting make him the best choice at that spot.

Charles Lee, Kevin Ollie, Jarron Collins To Get Second Interviews With Pistons

The Pistons are moving on to the second round of interviews in their search for a new head coach, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Bucks associate head coach Charles Lee, former Connecticut and Overtime Elite coach Kevin Ollie and Pelicans assistant Jarron Collins will all meet with team officials again this week, sources tell Wojnarowski.

All three were recently identified as early frontrunners in the process by James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Marc Stein previously stated that Lee and Ollie were considered favorites of general manager Troy Weaver, while Edwards said Collins had a “stellar” first interview with the organization.

The Pistons have been without a coach since Dwane Casey announced after the end of the regular season that he will transition into a front office role.

Latest On Pistons’ Head Coaching Search

The Pistons began conducting interviews for their open head coaching position earlier this week, according to James L. Edwards III of The Athletic, who reports that a trio of candidates have emerged as potential frontrunners in the early stages of the process.

Former Overtime Elite head coach Kevin Ollie, Bucks assistant Charles Lee, and Pelicans assistant Jarron Collins are the top three candidates for Detroit’s coaching vacancy so far, says Edwards.

The Pistons had Ollie and Lee high on their list entering the process, according to Edwards, and have now interviewed both of them. Marc Stein identified the duo earlier this week as possible favorites of general manager Troy Weaver, though he noted that vice chairman Arn Tellem would also have “considerable influence” in the search.

As for Collins, the Pistons were “very interested” in the veteran assistant when they began their search, says Edwards. League and team sources tell The Athletic that Collins’ interview with the club was “stellar.”

None of Detroit’s early frontrunners have previously served as NBA head coaches, though Collins and Ollie played in the league.

Lee, who competed in international leagues as a player, has been a longtime assistant under Mike Budenholzer in Milwaukee and Atlanta, while Collins was on Steve Kerr‘s staff for seven years in Golden State before moving to New Orleans under Willie Green in 2021. Ollie lacks any sort of NBA coaching experience, but coached at UConn for eight seasons (six as head coach) and led the Overtime Elite program for two years.

The Pistons have no definitive timetable to make a hire and will take their time to evaluate candidates, according to Edwards, who says that more contenders could emerge over the course of the search.

Pistons Get Permission To Interview Brian Keefe, Jarron Collins

The Pistons have received permission to interview Nets assistant Brian Keefe in their head coaching search, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. Wojnarowski mentioned Keefe as a potential candidate for the job last week.

Keefe has been with five NBA teams since joining the Spurs as a video coordinator in 2006. He worked with Detroit general manager Troy Weaver in Oklahoma City and has spent the last two seasons with Brooklyn.

Detroit was also granted permission by the Pelicans to interview assistant Jarron Collins, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Collins played 11 NBA seasons with the Jazz, Suns, Clippers and Trail Blazers and won three NBA titles as a member of the Warriors’ coaching staff. He came to New Orleans when head coach Willie Green was hired in 2021.

Interviews are expected to begin this week, Charania adds.

The Pistons are casting a wide net in their effort to replace Dwane Casey, who announced plans to transition to the front office after the regular season ended. They have already set up an interview with Kevin Ollie and have received permission to talk with Bucks assistant Charles Lee.

Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin and Heat assistant Chris Quinn are also expected to be candidates for the job, and former Celtics coach Ime Udoka and Bulls assistant Josh Longstaff have been mentioned as well.