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Monty Williams, Gregg Popovich & the Highest-paid Coaches in the NBA

Last Updated: July 10, 2023
Who sits atop the NBA coach salary throne? Check out the full rundown led by Detroit Pistons’ record-setting boss, whose deal could reportedly swell to nine figures.

The Phoenix Suns moved on from head coach Monty Williams after bowing out of the 2023 NBA Playoffs at the hands of the Denver Nuggets, but there was a consensus around the league that if the guy wanted to get right back into the game, he wouldn’t be in the unemployment line for long. Right on cue, on May 31, reporting emerged that he was close to a deal with the Detroit Pistons.

And oh, was he ever. As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported, the terms of the contract could only be described as thicc: six years and $78.5 million, making him the highest-paid NBA coach of all time up to that point.

Suffice it to say that Tom Gores and the Pistons are in it to win it, but that got us thinking — whom did Detroit’s new head man overtake for the NBA coach salary crown, leaving them to nip at his heels in the race for highest-paid NBA coach in the land? And barely a month later, what did San Antonio promise Gregg Popovich in response?

Check out the full rundown below.

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Top 5 Highest-paid NBA Coaches

NBA coach salary data via Sportico. On July 8, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Gregg Popovich and the Spurs had agreed to a five-year extension worth “at least” $80 million.

Gregg PopovichSan Antonio Spurs$16M+
Monty WilliamsDetroit Pistons$13.05M
Steve KerrGolden State Warriors$9.5M
Erik SpoelstraMiami Heat$8.5M
Rick CarlisleIndiana Pacers$7.25M

Beating Kerr and Spo in basically anything is a major coup, but if that Monty Williams number isn’t enough for you, The Athletic’s Shams Charania and James Edwards reported that team options and performance-based incentives can escalate the value of the Pistons coach’s deal to cool $100 million.

Nice work if you can get it.

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