Not even 24 hours after the Boston Celtics bowed out of the NBA playoffs at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets Tuesday night, they decided to take a machete to the power structure of the organization. Danny Ainge, the longtime President of Basketball Operations for the Celtics, announced he will be stepping down from his role, and head coach Brad Stevens will be leaving his post on the bench to fill Ainge’s spot.
The Celtics’ new head coaching job hasn’t even been available for more than a few hours, but star forward Jayson Tatum already has his vote for a Stevens replacement.
Celtics drastically shake up their front office
We knew the Celtics were going to have to make some changes this offseason after getting manhandled by the Nets in five games, but no one expected those changes to come this fast and this furious.
On Wednesday morning, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Ainge is retiring as President of Basketball Operations, and Stevens will be taking his place.
“Helping guide this organization has been the thrill of a lifetime, and having worked side-by-side with him since he’s been here, I know we couldn’t be in better hands than with Brad guiding the team going forward,” Ainge said Wednesday. “I’m grateful to ownership, all of my Celtics colleagues, and the best fans in basketball for being part of the journey.”
With Stevens making the jump to the front office, that leaves the Celtics with an appealing head coach vacancy. Tatum and Jaylen Brown are budding superstars just now realizing their potential together. Despite the holes in Boston’s roster elsewhere, those two young All-Stars can make up the cornerstone of a championship contender for years to come.
The Celtics should have their pick of the litter in their impending search for a new head coach.
Who will replace Brad Stevens as the Celtics head coach?
The Celtics could go a multitude of ways with their head coach search this offseason. They could opt for a proven leader with NBA head coaching experience such as Mike D’Antoni, Kenny Atkinson, or Lloyd Pierce. They could approach a former player such as Sam Cassell, Chauncey Billups, or Jason Kidd as a cultural fit to pair with the team’s young core. And what about keeping it in the Celtics family? Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are surely free.
Hey, you never know.
As is always the case, Las Vegas moves faster than everyone else in sports. Shortly after the Celtics announcement, SportsLine released its odds for who will become Boston’s next head coach, and there are plenty of interesting names on the list.
- Sam Cassell +300
- Chauncey Billups +400
- Jay Larranaga +500
- Jason Kidd +700
- Becky Hammon +800
- Kenny Atkinson +900
- Jeff Van Gundy +1000
- Wes Unseld Jr. +1100
- Mark Jackson +1200
- Lloyd Pierce +1300
- Mike D’Antoni +1400
- Jarron Collins +1500
- Jay Wright +2500
- Juwan Howard +3000
- Rick Pitino +5000
Jayson Tatum casts his vote for the Celtics next head coach
Rumors and Vegas odds have been flying around all day regarding Boston’s new head coach vacancy, but if the team wants to listen to their star layer, they’d be hiring someone completely off the grid. On Wednesday afternoon, former NBA player and Celtics assistant coach Evan Turner took to Twitter to dispel the rumors linking him to the head job.
“The rumors and speculations about me being the next head coach of the Boston Celtics are absolutely false!” Turner wrote in a tweet.
Shortly after, Tatum jumped in with an eyebrow-raising response.
“Was hoping they would be true,” he wrote.
Now, unless Tatum barges into Stevens’ shiny, new office and demands that he hires Turner, the Celtics won’t even have him on their radar. After all, Turner is only 32 years old, and he was still playing in the NBA as recently as last year. The Celtics hired Turner as an assistant coach prior to the season, and maybe they are grooming him for an eventual promotion, but it’s far too soon for a jump of that magnitude.
Sorry, Jayson. You might have to wait a few more years.