The bombshell dropped on Wednesday morning that Brad Stevens will be moving into the front office for the Boston Celtics as the President of Basketball Operations, while Danny Ainge will retire from the same position.
What has been a disappointing season in Boston filled with injuries and lack of production from players not named Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown, the Stevens move came out of nowhere. It comes to no surprise to anyone that Ainge is not with the Celtics anymore as their playoff disappointments over the last 4-5 years were very noticeable and the heat began to get even hotter for Ainge.
Brad Stevens’ voice burned out in the locker room for the players in Boston. Do they respect him and his basketball mind? Sure, but after the bubble and the feeling of being burnt out from being there for months, it seemed to be heading that way for the former Head Coach of the Celtics.
So who’s next?
There have been some really interesting candidates to come out from multiple sources around the league and we list those candidates below:
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, the Celtics have Jason Kidd and Lloyd Pierce as two of their top candidates to replace Brad Stevens. Kidd has been with the Lakers over the last two years as the top Assistant for Frank Vogel, and although he had a lackluster record of 183-190 with the Bucks and Nets, he is still highly regarded as a great basketball mind by multiple players. It’ll be interesting to see if he can garner enough interest from Boston to pull the trigger, but he is most definitely an intriguing option.
Lloyd Pierce was another top candidate reported by Chris Haynes along with Jason Kidd. His time in Atlanta didn’t go to well, but he is still highly regarded by players and coaches around the league. Pierce does a great job of being a players coach and connecting well with his players. If he doesn’t get a head coaching job, he will still find himself on a staff as a top assistant.
Billups played for the Celtics in his rookie year before being traded to Toronto. He ended up having a very successful career as a great leader and finals MVP in 2004. Now, he is an assistant coach on Ty Lue’s staff with the Clippers and has been involved with some head coaching vacancies in recent years.
According to Vinnie Goodwill at Yahoo! Sports, Billups has emerged as another candidate for the job and has connections with multiple players on the roster. Billups has a high IQ and has proven before to bring together a team with different personalities and play at a high level.
We now go to former Celtics Center Kendrick Perkins on who he would love to see as the next coach of the Boston Celtics.
Cassell has had his name thrown around as a potential Head Coach for multiple vacancies over the years, but the Celtics job may be his best chance yet. He’s Doc Rivers protege and has been with Doc since his days in Boston. Cassell is similar to Billups in which he commands a ton of respect and is a great leader.
Udoka spent seven seasons in San Antonio as an assistant under Greg Popovich and six seasons in Philly under Brett Brown as his top guy. Now, he is in Brooklyn with Steve Nash and seems to be ready for a head coaching gig and has been a candidate for different openings in years past.
Chris Mannix of SI reported that Udoka would be a candidate for the job and the fit is a good one. He is a defensive minded coach that would fit well with the players currently on the roster.