Danny Ainge Rumors
Brad Stevens hasn’t narrowed down a list of finalists for his replacement yet, but some fans have offered him some advice. A new billboard — paid for by Six Star Pro Nutrition — was placed near the Celtics’ practice facility and calls for Stevens, Boston’s new president of basketball operations, to hire a female coach, either Kara Lawson or Becky Hammon, after Stevens was promoted to replace Danny Ainge. “Hey Brad, it’s time to shake it up,” the billboard reads. “Hire Kara or Becky!”
Brad Stevens stepped down as Celtics coach to replace Danny Ainge running the Celtics’ front office and spent the first several days of his coaching search interviewing members of his former coaching staff, including Jay Larranaga, Jerome Allen, Scott Morrison and Joe Mazzulla, sources said.
Brad Stevens stepped down as head coach, and Danny Ainge stepped down as president of basketball operations. Sources said the team will keep Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, but Walker will be a part of the shakeup. And the feeling is mutual between Walker and the organization.
A source close to Walker said he was hurt by Boston’s efforts to trade him, which created a rift in the Walker-Ainge relationship. Walker has a great relationship with his teammates and looked forward to being a veteran mentor to Tatum and Brown, but the same can’t be said about Walker and the front office. He no longer feels wanted.
Ainge’s departure from Boston, meanwhile, was not nearly as unexpected around the NBA as Stevens’ new position. There have been whispers about his connection to new Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith for some time. And additional rumblings persist about potential changes coming within Utah’s front office at the urging of new minority partner Dwyane Wade, despite Utah’s success this year. The Celtics messaged that Ainge “retired” from his post and will serve a senior advisory role to Boston’s ownership group, but since his departure, Ainge has also been linked by league sources to possibly joining Portland in some capacity as well.
It will be interesting to see how Stevens approaches free agents like Evan Fournier. Ainge said in a press conference that Stevens didn’t always agree with moves made by the Celtics’ front office. Boston traded for Fournier in late March. The Knicks had conversations with Orlando prior to the trade deadline about acquiring Fournier, per sources.