Lakers rumors: Reports clarify potential interest in head coach Monty Williams

The Detroit Pistons have parted ways with head coach Monty Williams. Reports have immediately clarified the odds of Williams to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Detroit Pistons v Boston Celtics
Detroit Pistons v Boston Celtics / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers have assembled a dynamic list of candidates to become the next head coach of the franchise with a record 32 NBA Finals appearances. JJ Redick and James Borrego lead a pool of options that includes NCAA Champions and longtime assistant coaches.

With an unexpected development transpiring in the Eastern Conference, however, the Lakers have suddenly been presented with another name to consider.

The Detroit Pistons made waves on June 19 by firing head coach Monty Williams after just one season. Williams was the fourth-highest-paid coach in the NBA, and while Detroit finished the 2023-24 regular season at 14-68, most expected him to have the chance to turn the team around.

With Williams entering coaching free agency, the inevitable question has arisen of whether the Lakers should add him to the coaching search.

Unfortunately for those advocating for the hire, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that Williams may not want to coach again so soon.

Shams Charania of The Athletic also reported that Williams hasn't yet surfaced on the Lakers' radar as an alternative to heavy favorite JJ Redick.

Some might be disappointed to hear this, but as Charania noted, Williams was blindsided and the Lakers haven't exactly had time to process his availability.

Williams was previously identified as a favorite for the Lakers job in 2019 before he instead took a head coaching job with the Phoenix Suns. He led Phoenix to the first NBA Finals appearance in franchise history in 2020-21, and guided it to a franchise-record 64 wins the following season.

Williams' subsequent stint with the Pistons was cut short after just one season, but he remains one of the most sought-after coaches in the Association.

In Los Angeles, Williams would have a chance to transition from a rebuilding team to a squad with two of the best players in the NBA. It would be a reunion, of sorts, as he previously coached Anthony Davis with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Together, Davis and Williams led New Orleans to the playoffs in 2014-15, thus ending a four-year postseason drought.

Williams would still be tasked with helping the Lakers build for the future, however, as Davis is 31 and LeBron James will turn 40 in December. Austin Reaves, 26, and Rui Hachimura, 26, are regarded as players the Lakers are keen on developing, as is 21-year-old restricted free agent Max Christie.

It's still possible that Williams will be hired as the coach to accomplish that challenging feat, but as it stands in the immediate aftermath of his firing in Detroit, the Lakers are staying the course.