3. Monty Williams
Monty Williams was given strong consideration for the head coaching job that went to Tom Thibodeau back in 2016, and according to Wojnarowski, he could be a candidate this time around, too.
Williams is apparently a great guy, and a quick sampling of players that have played for him and fans of the Pelicans, who he coached from 2010 to 2015, makes that clear.
His record during five seasons leading New Orleans was 173-221 (.439), although it’s worth noting that he only had Anthony Davis on the squad for three of those campaigns. After 27 wins in Davis’ rookie year, New Orleans improved to 34 wins in 2013-14 and 45 wins in 2014-15 before being swept in the playoffs by Golden State. Williams was fired after the season.
He spent the following year in Oklahoma City as Billy Donovan’s associate head coach but left the team in spring following his wife’s death in a car accident. After taking a couple of years off to be with his family, Williams is back on the bench this year in Philadelphia as an assistant.
As for the on-court results, Williams’ teams were never all that dynamic. In 2010-11, Williams coached the then-Hornets in Chris Paul’s final year in New Orleans, and while the team won 46 games and took the 57-win Lakers to six games in the first round of the playoffs, their offensive rating ranked just No. 19 in the league and the team was 27th in points scored.
Without Paul, the Hornets won just 21 games the next year and 27 the year after that. With Davis in the fold, however, things gradually began to improve.
The biggest issue with Williams’ most recent teams were their lack of 3-point attempts, ranking No. 22 in the league in 2012-13, No. 29 in 2013-14, and No. 23 in 2014-15. This with the likes of Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, Anthony Morrow, Luke Babbitt … okay, not all great names, but all guys who love to launch threes and hit at a high clip.
Clearly, there was a dearth of talent on Williams’ New Orleans teams, this side of one year with Chris Paul and three with Anthony Davis. Williams absolutely deserves another shot at a head coaching job, when he’s ready.
And while it’s unclear what a Williams’ offense would look like in the year 2019, it surely wouldn’t be any more archaic than the majority of sets that Thibodeau’s Wolves ran over the past couple of years…