Isaac, a 22-year-old forward and potential franchise cornerstone, crumpled to the court and clutched his knee as Magic head athletic trainer Ernest Eugene and athletic trainer and manual therapist Aki Tajima attended to him. A pained expression crossed Evan Fournier’s face. Wes Iwundu looked to the ground, his hands cupped to his face. Fultz prayed. “That was tough, man,” said Aaron Gordon, another of Isaac’s teammates. “That one brought me to tears instantly just because I know how good of a guy J.I. is and I know how hard he works and how hard he has worked to get back.”
May 31, 2023 | 11:10 pm EDT Update
Monty Williams and the Detroit Pistons have agreed in principle on a six-year, $78.5 million deal for Williams to become the franchise’s new head coach, league sources told The Athletic on Wednesday. The deal has team options for Years 7 and 8 and could reach close to $100 million in totality with incentives, league sources said. It is expected to be finalized in the coming days.
The weekend before Memorial Day, back in Los Angeles, Pistons owner Tom Gores, general manager Troy Weaver and others in Detroit’s front office held a meeting to figure out what to do about a coaching vacancy that had been unsettled for nearly two months. Up to this point, the Pistons’ intentionally slow-played process had led them to close to a dozen interviewed candidates, according to team sources, with Charles Lee and Kevin Ollie, both of whom had never been an NBA head coach before, leading the pack.
Both Lee, the Milwaukee Bucks’ lead assistant and Ollie, the former UConn and Overtime Elite coach, had impressed in different ways, per team sources granted anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the hiring process. But there was a gut feeling among the collective that the search needed to continue. That’s when Gores raised the question to the group: “What if we go back to Monty?”
Williams, though, had informed the Pistons, Bucks and other NBA teams interested in hiring him that he was not ready to commit to coaching next season and was leaning toward taking a year off, per league sources. The Pistons didn’t make a formal offer to Williams at that time, multiple sources said.
During the initial conversations in which Williams told teams, including Detroit, that he was leaning toward taking next season off — Phoenix owes him roughly $21 million over the next three years — he did mention that the Pistons, along with another team, would be a job he’d consider taking if he were to come back to the sideline next season, per league sources. The heavy pursuit from Weaver, Arn Tellem and Gores, along with a lucrative commitment and fondness for Detroit’s young core, ultimately, was too good for Williams to pass up.
Michael Scotto: Arkansas SG/SF Jordan Walsh is staying in the NBA Draft, a source told @hoopshype. Walsh is considered a versatile defender who can guard four positions. He improved his stock at the combine and had workouts with the Celtics, Nets, Jazz, Pistons and Magic.
May 31, 2023 | 10:09 pm EDT Update
Monty Williams, Pistons agree to deal for Williams to become team's next head coach
Shams Charania: Breaking: Monty Williams and the Detroit Pistons have agreed in principle on a six-year, $72 million deal for Williams to become the franchise’s new head coach, sources tell me and @JLEdwardsIII . The deal is expected to be finalized in the coming days.