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Tom Gores Rumors

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?”
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.
The offers have been consistently estimated to me at $50 million over five years or even $60 million over six years. Sources say that two of the Pistons’ previously reported finalists for the post — Bucks associate head coach Charles Lee and former UConn coach Kevin Ollie — were only summoned to meet face-to-face with Pistons owner Tom Gores for a second time after Williams turned them down the first time.
Both Ollie and Lee were scheduled to interview this week for a second time with Pistons owner Tom Gores, as covered in Wednesday’s coaching carousel roundup, after Monty Williams’ apparent pass on what league sources have described to me as a big-money offer from Detroit. It has also been suggested to me that the Pistons may not have abandoned all hope that Williams could reconsider.
It is not yet known if the Pistons will broaden their search or choose from among their previously known finalists, with former UConn coach Kevin Ollie and Bucks associate head coach Charles Lee said to be heading for a second meeting with Pistons owner Tom Gores. There has been a consistent buzz in coaching circles that Pistons GM Troy Weaver wants the job to go to Ollie.