These are the top names linked to replace Celtics coach Brad Stevens

These are the top names linked to replace Celtics coach Brad Stevens

DunkWire

These are the top names linked to replace Celtics coach Brad Stevens

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After losing to the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs, the Boston Celtics had a massive shakeup, and are seeking a new coach.

Brad Stevens, who took over for the Celtics in 2013, is officially moving into the front office for the franchise. Danny Ainge, who won the league’s Executive of the Year in 2008, is stepping away from his role and retiring.

Keep in mind that there are many other potential suitors that may become available for this role.

But until then, as Stevens begins the huge task of finding his successor, here are some of the top options mentioned thus far:

Jay Larranaga

There is no one that Stevens is more familiar with than Jay Larranaga, who is currently the lead assistant for the Celtics.

Larranaga was also interviewed as a candidate to replace Doc Rivers before the organization hired Stevens in 2013. He was in consideration as a head coach in the college ranks at Georgia Tech and George Mason but passed on both opportunities to remain with Boston.

Just last year, Stevens said it was “only a matter of time” until Larranaga was an NBA head coach. If the team opts to keep it in-house, his is the top name to know.

Jason Kidd

After helping win a title as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers last season, Jason Kidd is reportedly in consideration to return to the head coaching fraternity once more.

Kidd, who has previously served as head coach for the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets, recently told The Undefeated’s Marc Spears he would “love to have another opportunity” as a head coach in the NBA.

While it is unclear if he has done enough with the Lakers to earn such a nod once more, especially with such a prestigious destination, it is rare to hear of any vacancy without his candidacy mentioned.

Chauncey Billups

NBA champion Chauncey Billups is one of the most interesting options as a potential replacement for Brad Stevens.

He is currently on the sidelines for the first time, as an assistant under Ty Lue for the LA Clippers, but he is mentioned as one of the most compelling candidates for front office and head coaching vacancies around the league.

Back in 2017, Billups hosted Celtics’ Marcus Smart for some workouts, and Smart had overwhelmingly positive takeaways from their experience together (via Boston.com):

“It was tremendous. Me and Chauncey are similar in a lot of ways. We’re bigger guards who like to impose our will, who love contact. So being able to learn from a guy who knows what it takes to play in this league a very long time and win a championship, to learn and kind of pick his brain was good.”

But the connections go long beyond Smart, as Billups actually began his professional career with the Celtics, who selected him with the third pick in the 1997 NBA draft.

Lloyd Pierce

While his tenure with the Atlanta Hawks ended before their playoff run this season, Lloyd Pierce still has a solid future as a head coach in the NBA.

A few months ago, shortly after his time with the Hawks concluded, Stevens said that he was a “big fan” of Pierce and that he learned something from him whenever he watched Atlanta.

One particularly interesting note is that last year, Boston star wing Jaylen Brown specifically wanted to partner with Pierce to help get more people registered to vote in his home state of Atlanta.

Even though Pierce may be seen as more of a developmental coach than a winning franchise like Boston may seek, the respect Stevens and Brown have for him makes him worth an interview.

Sam Cassell

Someone certain to get a huge push as a potential replacement for Stevens is Philadelphia 76ers assistant Sam Cassell.

The three-time NBA champion won one of his titles while playing for the Celtics in 2008 and has since served on various coaching staffs in the NBA. His winning mentality made him an attractive option for the opening with the Houston Rockets before they eventually went with Stephen Silas.

Cassell is incredibly well-respected around the league and has long been seen as one of the next to take the transition from player to head coach. He already has all of the experience one could want for someone hiring for this position.

Ime Udoka

After spending the better part of the 2010s learning from Gregg Popovich, there are many around the league who believe Ime Udoka is destined for a great career as a head coach.

Udoka has experience coaching against the Celtics, serving as an assistant for the Philadelphia 76ers and then for the Brooklyn Nets over the past couple of seasons.

Even though he doesn’t have as many ties to Boston as some of the other names mentioned, Udoka has earned serious consideration for any of the vacancies in head coaching circles.

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