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Monty Williams’ job in Detroit reportedly safe, but new head of basketball operations coming?

Detroit Pistons v Dallas Mavericks

DALLAS, TEXAS - APRIL 12: Head coach Monty Williams of the Detroit Pistons looks on during the first half against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on April 12, 2024 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)

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The Detroit Pistons are 14-67, finishing their worst season in franchise history today, one complete with a record 28-game losing streak. It’s their second season in a row with the worst record in the NBA but not only did the team get worse this season under new coach Monty Williams, there was little sign of player development and growth during the season. In fact, the team seemed to regress. They simply didn’t play hard too many nights, or folded in the face of an opponent’s run. Williams did things that seemed inexplicable, like sticking with Killian Hayes as a starter for a third of the season when it was clear both statistically and to the eye test he was not up for the job.

That doesn’t mean Monty Williams is getting fired, nor is GM Troy Weaver, reports James Edwards III at The Athletic. However, owner Tom Gores may bring in a new head of basketball operations over both of them.

Team and league sources told The Athletic that Gores is considering hiring a president of basketball operations to have the final say on all basketball matters. The Pistons haven’t had someone in that exact role since 2018. As for Williams, it appears as of now that he will be back next season, assuming he demonstrates that he can deliver significantly more progress in the development of its team and players.

The poor decisions with the Pistons — and why it is hard to move on from Williams and/or Weaver — start with ownership. Gores wanted to lure Williams back into coaching so badly he gave him the largest coaching contract in NBA history at the time — one that still has five guaranteed seasons on it. Weaver has a new contract extension that kicks in next season despite being the guy putting together a roster that, four years into the current rebuild, needs a rebuild. Gores wanted to keep these guys and paid them so much he can’t just eat the deals.

Bringing in a new decision-maker over the top is a start. There is some talent on the roster. Cade Cunningham proved this season that, when healthy, he can be a foundational piece for whatever the Pistons build. Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren and Isaiah Stewart are good young players who could have roles in whatever is next.

However, overall, this roster is starved for NBA-level talent, and that’s the first thing a new team president (or whatever title he is given) has to change. Give Monty Williams better players to work with, and then, if things still are not fitting well, the blame starts to shift.

Whatever happens this summer, something has to happen to shake things up. Bring in a new head of basketball operations who can keep Gores at arm’s length from the rest of the basketball side, make some changes to the roster, and then see if Williams can light a fire under them. If not, then this may be a very different conversation a year from now.