Instead, Williams, whom the Suns owed $21 million from his contract, will become the highest-paid coach in the history of the NBA, with reported terms of six years and $78.5 million, with an opportunity to push that total near $100 million with additional years and incentives.
ESPN’s Bobby Marks noted that although there is a salary cap for players, there isn’t one for coaches, and that there is only one Pistons player on the roster who would make more than Williams’ average annual value of about $13.1 million: Bojan Bogdanovic, at $20 million.
Williams, at $13.1 million, surpasses the San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich’s reported deal at $11.5 million, as we as Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr at about $9.5 million. That notwithstanding, there could be some renegotiated deals for the Denver Nuggets’ Michael Malone, who has his team in the NBA Finals for the first time, along with some other coaches who had good seasons.
As ESPN’s Ramona Shelbourne noted, some coaches’ agents may be ready to get back to the negotiating table, with a new benchmark.
Beyond the record-setting dollars in the deal, the Pistons also are in position to add the most-sought-after coach in the offseason. Williams has had success in turning around the Suns from a struggling franchise to one of the elite teams in the NBA.
The reputation Williams, 51, has built with developing young players fits with the Pistons’ rebuild, helmed by general manager Troy Weaver. Williams and Weaver crossed paths in Oklahoma City, when Weaver was an assistant general manager for the Thunder.
It appears that a couple of Pistons players also were excited about the news, with Jaden Ivey posting an image of a hand signing. R.J. Hampton posted fire emojis as well.
We’re offering a great rate on digital subscriptions. Click here.