Top 8 Celtics Coaching Candidates To Replace Brad Stevens After Promotion

Top 8 Celtics Coaching Candidates To Replace Brad Stevens After Promotion

The Celtics have made huge changes to their squad following their playoff loss to the Nets.

Brad Stevens is no longer the team’s coach, but he has not left the organization. Instead, he was promoted to head of basketball operations with the team. He succeeds Danny Ainge, who leaves after 18 years as general manager of the Celtics and a championship (2008).

But now the Celtics will have their first new GM in nearly two decades. And Stevens will seek out who will only be the Celtics’ third coach since 2004.

AFTER: What Stevens’ promotion and Ainge’s departure mean for the Celtics

Replacing Stevens will not be easy. His 318 wins are the fourth in Celtics history behind Red Auerbach, Tommy Heinsohn and Doc Rivers. But because Stevens is set to lead the search for the next coach, he should have the chance to pick a good one from a solid selection of available candidates. Here are some of the best options and rumors for the team to target.

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Jason kidd

  • Actual job: Lakers assistant coach
  • Head Coaching Experience? Yes

Kidd expected to be Celtics coach candidate, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Kidd was once a star point guard in the NBA and led the league in assists in five of his 21 seasons. He also has a lot of experience as a coach.

Kidd coaches Frank Vogel’s side with the Lakers, but before that he was in charge of the Nets and Bucks for a total of five seasons.

Overall, Kidd is 183-190 as a coach, but he’s only had one losing season with the Nets and Bucks. He made the playoffs in three of the full four seasons he coached, but only won one series in those three appearances.

Is Kidd the most exciting coach on the market? Maybe not, but he has a solid background and was a great player who could be a good mentor for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

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Lloyd Pierce

  • More recently: Hawks Head Coach
  • Head Coaching Experience? Yes

Pierce is the other candidate who Haynes says would run for Boston’s coaching job. He has a very different CV than Kidd’s, as he only had a four-year playing career and never made it to the NBA.

However, Pierce found his niche in player development with the Cavaliers during the 2007-10 seasons. From there he will work with the Warriors, Grizzlies and 76ers and help young players find their place and grow. win roles in the NBA. Most notably with the 76ers, he was part of the staff who developed Joel Embiid. And in Philly, Pierce began to play a bigger role in defense in his later years.

AFTER: How will LeBron James behave in Game 6?

Pierce’s more than two-year tenure in Atlanta did not go as planned. He only went 63-120 as a coach, but he’s only 45 and had a strong relationship with the players and coaches there. The owner group just wanted to see if Nate McMillan could catalyze the underperforming Hawks, which he did.

Pierce could be a good choice for the Celtics as he could help develop the team’s large pool of young talent including Tatum, Brown, Payton Pritchard, Romeo Langford, Grant Williams and Aaron Nesmith, among others. It could give him a head start on the competition, provided Stevens thinks Pierce’s poor record with the Hawks was fluke.

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Becky hammon

  • Actual job: Assistant coach of Spurs
  • Head Coaching Experience? No

Could Stevens become the first NBA GM to hire a coach? Ahead of a Celtics game in late April, he explained that the “day is coming very soon” for a woman to lead an NBA bench. And during this interview, he spoke well of Hammon.

“Becky is obviously a great candidate,” Stevens said, per NBC Sports Boston. “I don’t know her well, but I know what people think of her, and I know how respected she is throughout the league by players and coaches.”

So it looks like Hammon is someone Stevens would at least be interested in interviewing for the job. She’s had a very successful WNBA career and learned from one of the best in the business, Gregg Popovich, so she seems like a sane target.

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Jay larranaga

  • Actual job: Celtics Assistant Coach
  • Head Coaching Experience? No

Larranaga has been with the Celtics since the 2012 season and has been one of Stevens’ best assistants in his later years as a coach. Stevens accepting a promotion, it seems only natural that he at least interviews Larranaga to see if he should get one as well.

Son of Miami coach Jim Larranaga, who led George Mason to the Final Four at the 2006 NCAA Tournament, young Larranaga spent 12 years as an overseas basketball player. He is well regarded in the Celtics’ organization and was interviewed as a potential replacement option in 2013 when Rivers left the team.

He has also previously been interviewed by Georgia Tech and George Mason for coaching vacancies.

Larranaga would provide a new voice that knows the team well. Whether that’s what Boston is looking for remains to be seen, but Stevens knows Larranaga very well, so don’t be surprised if he gets at least one interview.

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Sam cassell

  • Actual job: 76ers assistant coach
  • Head Coaching Experience? No

Cassell was a key reserve for the Celtics’ championship-winning team in 2008 and remained with the organization until he was traded in the ’08 -’09 season. Almost immediately after his retirement in 2009, he joined the Flip Saunders coaching staff with the Wizards. There he got his feet wet for a few years before finally moving on.

In 2014, Cassell joined Doc Rivers’ coaching staff with the Clippers. Since then he has been a staff assistant at Rivers and has established himself as a strong and respected coach.

If the Celtics want to pluck someone from Rivers’ coaching tree, Cassell would be a logical choice. He has experience in Boston and has been loved in the locker room throughout his career. And hey, the teams he helped coach Rivers weren’t bad either.


Chauncey Billups

  • Actual job: Assistant coach of the Clippers
  • Head Coaching Experience? No

Billups was actually drafted by the Celtics in 1997 before the ever-impatient Rick Pitino traded him in his rookie season. Billups ended up playing for seven different teams during his NBA career and was five-time All-Star and was the Finals MVP during the 2004 season when he was with the Pistons.

Billups doesn’t have a lot of coaching experience. In fact, he’s only in his first year as Tyronn Lue’s assistant with the Clippers. However, he was considered to be a sharp basketball wit; he just took the media route before embarking on training.

Is it too early for Billups to be considered head coach? Maybe, but he’s a savvy former player, and we’ve seen teams like the Nets face inexperienced former pointers Kidd and Steve Nash. Maybe Stevens could follow this trend if he believes in Billups.

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Kenny atkinson

  • Actual job: Assistant coach of the Clippers
  • Head Coaching Experience? Yes

Two Clippers assistant coaches on the same roster? You bet.

Atkinson’s overall record as a coach may not be impressive – he went 118-190 in addition to three seasons at Brooklyn – but given the lack of talent he had in those teams, their performances were impressive. He managed to bring a team of D’Angelo Russell, Caris LeVert, Joe Harris, Jarrett Allen and Spencer Dinwiddie to the Eastern Conference playoffs with a 42-40 record and helped countless players to develop along the way.

AFTER: Austin Rivers thought keeping Damian Lillard hot was ‘fun’

And then what happened? As the team struggled to reach a record below 0.500 the following year, with renowned signings Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant missing big chunks of the year, the two sides opted to go their separate ways. As such, Atkinson became available and decided to work as an assistant with the Clippers.

Atkinson could be an ideal candidate to help develop Langford, Williams, Nesmith, Pritchard and other Celtics players. He’s similar to the aforementioned Pierce, so it’ll be interesting to see if the two draw attention to the role.

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Juwan howard

  • Actual job: Michigan head coach
  • Head Coaching Experience? Yes

The last NBA coach hired in Michigan, John Beilein, did not perform as well. But Howard is very different from the 68-year-old coach who only lasted one season with the Cavaliers.

Howard played 19 seasons in the NBA and won two championships at the end of his career (2012 and 2013). He was also an All-Star Way in 1996.

Since then, Howard has become a respected assistant to Eric Spoelstra with the Heat before becoming a coach in Michigan. He led the Wolverines to a Big Ten title in 2021, his second year on the job, and was named Sporting News Coach of the Year for his efforts.

Howard looks like a strong varsity coach who could easily move on to the NBA, much like Stevens did in 2013. But would Howard leave Michigan? This is the big question. given the job security he has there. This could therefore affect any decision to prosecute him.

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