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Pistons’ Coaching Shake-Up: NBA Veteran Strategically Hired

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The Pistons have made a change to their coaching staff. No, it’s not the change you’re thinking about. On Friday, the Pistons strategically hired Fred Vinson, a seasoned Pelicans assistant coach, to join Monty Williams’s staff. Vinson brings a wealth of experience, having spent the past 14 seasons with the Pelicans, including five seasons as an assistant under Williams (2010-2015). Vinson’s close connection to Pistons’ President Trajan Langdon enhances his potential influence on the team. This move also suggests that Williams will get at least one more season to prove he’s worth the $78.5 million contract he signed in the summer of 2023. So, who is Fred Vinson, and what can he bring to this Pistons team?

Pistons’ Coaching Shake-Up: NBA Veteran Strategically Hired

Fred Vinson’s Background

Hailing from Murfreesboro, North Carolina, Fred Vinson became enamored with basketball early in life. He played two seasons at Chowan Junior College (1989-1991) before transferring to Georgia Tech. At Georgia Tech, Vinson averaged 7.0 points and 2.5 rebounds per game, with shooting splits of 41/38/79%. In his final season, he was named team MVP, was the third leading scorer, and led the team in three-pointers made (70) and three-point percentage (.402).

Despite his achievements, Vinson went undrafted in the 1994 NBA draft. Vinson got his shot at the NBA when the Atlanta Hawks took a flyer on him. He played in just five games, scoring a total of four points. Following this, Vinson played in the CBA, the USBL, Mexico, and Israel before returning to the NBA with the Seattle SuperSonics, appearing in eight games during the 1999-2000 season. After his time with the SuperSonics, Vinson continued his playing career overseas, competing in Venezuela, France, and Poland. He also played in the CBA, ABA, and IBL. In 2008, Vinson transitioned into coaching, becoming an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers. After two seasons with the Clippers, he joined the New Orleans Pelicans as an assistant coach.

How Will Fred Vinson Help The Pistons?

The NBA community regards Fred Vinson as a shooting guru. He turned below-average shooters like Lonzo Ball, Herb Jones, and Jose Alvarado into legitimate three-point threats in New Orleans. This past season, the Pelicans ranked 4th in the NBA in three-point percentage (38%), partly due to Vinson’s coaching.

Conversely, the Pistons ranked 26th in three-point percentage and have been in the bottom nine in this category for the past five seasons. Ausar Thompson’s 18% three-point shooting requires a summer of work for better on-court effectiveness next season. Jaden Ivey shot 33% from three, which needs to improve if he is to be a crucial part of the Pistons’ long-term future alongside Cade Cunningham. Cunningham, who shot 35% from three, is another player who will benefit from Vinson’s coaching. Despite his decent percentage, Cunningham is still below league average and will look to improve under Vinson’s guidance.

The Last Word

Fred Vinson’s arrival in Detroit marks a pivotal step for the Pistons as they look to enhance their performance from beyond the arc. Vinson’s history of refining shooters like Ball, Jones, and Alvarado highlights his skill in three-point development. His expertise will be invaluable for a team that has struggled with three-point shooting, ranking 26th in the league. This strategic hire showcases the Pistons’ commitment to improvement and reinforces their faith in Monty Williams this upcoming season. As the team gears up for a summer of change, adding Vinson to the coaching staff brings a renewed sense of optimism and the promise of a brighter future for Detroit basketball.


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