Who could be the next Pistons' head coach? Here are a few candidates (2024)

After the worst season in franchise history and a new top decision-maker hired to press reset on the entire operation, the Detroit Pistons have parted ways with Monty Williams a year after signing him to a six-year, $78 million contract, team sources confirmed to The Athletic.

The decision comes on the heels of Detroit owner Tom Gores hiring Trajan Langdon to be the new president of basketball operations. Team and league sources tell The Athletic that throughout the hiring process for that role, which has been vacant since 2018, Gores made it clear to candidates that he would be willing to move on from Williams if that was the route whomever got the position elected to do, with money owed being no hurdle. Gores made the final call to move on from Williams over the last 24 hours, according to team sources.


It was around this time last year that Williams finalized a deal to walk the sideline in Detroit, just weeks after the organization finished a 17-win season. It was a weeks-long courtship and one of the biggest coaching contracts in NBA history to get it done. Gores, uninspired by the two finalists, Kevin Ollie and Charles Lee, presented to him by his front office, made the choice to circle back on Williams, who had previously told the organization that he wasn’t interested in coaching at the time after being fired by the Phoenix Suns and while his wife was in the midst of battling cancer. Gores then put an offer in front of Williams that he couldn’t refuse, a contract that could reach $100 million with incentives and came with extra health benefits and access to a private plane for Williams and his family to be able to utilize while his wife was in the midst of her battle.

What ensued after Williams signed was the Pistons producing a 14-68 record, a historic 28-game losing streak and a team that thought it had hit rock bottom the previous year learning that it, in fact, can get worse.

In less than a month formally on the job, Langdon is in the midst of both a general manager and coaching search. I previously took a look at some names to monitor to replace former general manger Troy Weaver. Here, I’m going to identify some names to keep an eye on to replace Williams.

James Borrego

Where did Borrego spend last season as an assistant coach? Where did Langdon get hired from? The answer to both questions is New Orleans.

Borrego is most known for his four-year run as the head coach of the Charlotte Hornets (2018-22), where he was tasked with a rebuilding situation that would eventually be headlined by LaMelo Ball. Borrego is considered one of the better offensive minds in the league without a head coaching job. During his last season with the Hornets, Charlotte posted a 40-plus-win season for the first time in six years, and the team was ranked eighth in offense during the regular season. Coming from the Gregg Popovich coaching tree, Borrego, despite only being 46 years old, has had a coaching role in the NBA since 2003.


Sean Sweeney

A name familiar around these parts, Sweeney is currently a lead assistant and head of the defense for the Western Conference champion Dallas Mavericks. Sweeney was on Dwane Casey’s staff his first three years in Detroit, was with Jason Kidd in Brooklyn and was critical in the development of Giannis Antetokounmpo during his time as an assistant coach in Milwaukee.

Johnnie Bryant

The 38-year-old Bryant has been the associate head coach of the New York Knicks since 2020, joining head coach Tom Thibodeau immediately upon his arrival in New York. Before that, Bryant was in Utah, where he worked as a player development staffer before being promoted to assistant coach in 2014. Bryant is currently under consideration for the Cavaliers’ opening as well.

Micah Nori

Another name familiar to Pistons fans, Nori is the lead assistant for Chris Finch in Minnesota, even filling in for Finch walking the sideline after the latter injured his knee in an awkward sideline collision during a first-round playoff series against the Suns. Nori, too, worked on Casey’s staff during his first three seasons in Detroit. Nori has been in the NBA working as a coach since 2009 with the likes the Toronto Raptors, Sacramento Kings and Denver Nuggets in addition to Detroit and Minnesota.

Jerome Allen

Yet another name familiar to Pistons fans, Allen, too, was an assistant under Casey in Detroit. The true inventor of the “Shammgod” crossover, Allen has also been an assistant coach for the Celtics and was the head coach at the University of Pennsylvania, his alma mater, from 2010-15. Allen was recently named an assistant coach under Dave Joerger for the 2024 USA AmeriCup Qualifying Team.

Chris Quinn

Quinn, one of the NBA’s rising coaches, has been interviewing for head coaching jobs over the last few years, including the Pistons’ opening last year before Gores aggressively pursued Williams. He has worked under Erik Spoelstra in Miami since 2014 and even filled in for him as head coach on a few occasions in 2022. The former Notre Dame point guard won’t go much longer without being a head coach in the NBA.


Will Weaver

Most recently an assistant coach with the Brooklyn Nets, Weaver won the 2019 G League Coach of the Year award with the Long Island Nets, who were overseen by Langdon, then the assistant general manager of Brooklyn. Weaver, similarly to Borrego, is known as an offensive-minded coach who was very creative in his time running the show in both the G League and as head coach of National Basketball League’s Sydney Kings in Australia. He’s been coaching in the NBA in some capacity since 2013, with other stops in Philadelphia and Houston. Weaver has also been in consideration for head coaching jobs across the NBA, like in Oklahoma City, where he was one of two finalists in 2020.

(Photo of Sean Sweeney: Adam Pantozzib / NBAE via Getty Images)

Who could be the next Pistons' head coach? Here are a few candidates (1)Who could be the next Pistons' head coach? Here are a few candidates (2)

James L. Edwards III is a staff writer for The Athletic covering the Detroit Pistons. Previously, he was a reporter for the Lansing State Journal, where he covered Michigan State and high school sports. Follow James L. on Twitter @JLEdwardsIII

Who could be the next Pistons' head coach? Here are a few candidates (2024)


Who is the Pistons head coach? ›

Who was the Pistons old head coach? ›

Flip Saunders was the coach for the Pistons from 2005 to 2008. Lawrence Frank was the coach for the Pistons from 2011 to 2013. Stan Van Gundy was the coach for the Pistons from 2014 to 2018. Dwane Casey was the coach for the Pistons from 2018 to 2023.

What is the longest losing streak in NBA history? ›

The longest losing streak of all time occurred when the Detroit Pistons lost 28 games in a row during the 2023-2024 record season. The Pistons also hold the record for the longest postseason losing streak.

Who is the new assistant coach for the Pistons? ›

The Pistons recently agreed on terms to hire New Orleans Pelicans assistant Fred Vinson as a prominent assistant coach, sources said. Vinson had history with Williams and Langdon in New Orleans.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Merrill Bechtelar CPA

Last Updated:

Views: 5965

Rating: 5 / 5 (50 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Merrill Bechtelar CPA

Birthday: 1996-05-19

Address: Apt. 114 873 White Lodge, Libbyfurt, CA 93006

Phone: +5983010455207

Job: Legacy Representative

Hobby: Blacksmithing, Urban exploration, Sudoku, Slacklining, Creative writing, Community, Letterboxing

Introduction: My name is Merrill Bechtelar CPA, I am a clean, agreeable, glorious, magnificent, witty, enchanting, comfortable person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.