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Rumors suggest Detroit Pistons want to move on after making Monty Williams NBA’s highest-paid coach: Would Williams accept a buyout?

Monty Williams, Detroit Pistons
Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

A year ago, the Detroit Pistons and Dwane Casey mutually agreed that he would no longer be the team’s head coach after finishing an NBA-worst 17-65. Monty Williams was then hired to replace Casey after being fired from the Phoenix Suns, who reached the Western Conference Semifinals.

Williams’ initial plan was to take a year off, recalibrating while re-assessing his basketball coaching future. However, the Pistons saw Williams as the perfect fit to quickly coach a young, raw team into a future contender, and made him the highest-paid coach in the NBA (aside from Gregg Popovich, who doubles as the Spurs GM too). The Pistons hired Williams by inking him to a six-year, $78.5 million contract, hoping he could lead a quick turnaround.

Yet, that’s not what’s happened.

Instead, we’ve seen the Pistons return to being the worst team in the NBA and are somehow actually on pace to finish with fewer wins than last season when Cade Cunningham was limited to just 12 games. It’s safe to say, the 13-65 Pistons aren’t any better than the version that went 17-65 in 2023.

Now there’s even talk that the Pistons are considering pursuing a buyout from Williams’ contract that allows them to hire yet another new head coach for the 2024-25 season. However, Williams, who’s earning an average of $13 million per season from Detroit, doesn’t appear interested in quitting on the Pistons just yet.

“For now, at the bottom of the standings, there has been ongoing speculation among rival front offices about a potential change atop Detroit’s organizational chart following the Pistons’ strugglesome campaign. At this juncture, according to one source with knowledge of the situation, there is no expectation that Williams would be open to any buyout of his six-year, $78.5 million contract.”

Yahoo’s NBA insider Jake Fischer on Monty Williams-Detroit Pistons rumors

With Williams locked in through the 2028-29 season, the Pistons don’t appear to be in danger of their head coach leaving town any time soon. Yet, if he really wants to stick around in Detroit, he might want to find a way to become more competitive next season as he begins his second year as the Pistons’ head coach. Otherwise, he may not have a choice but to take a year off.

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