Brad Stevens is stepping away from his head coaching job with the Boston Celtics to replace the now-retired Danny Ainge as the President of Basketball Operations. The Celtics were ousted from the postseason again in Stevens’ seventh straight appearance. With Stevens out and in the front office, he’ll be involved in finding his own replacement. DraftKings Sportsbook Director Johnny Avello provided some hypothetical odds for who will become the next head coach of the Celtics. Let’s take a look.
Jason Kidd (6-1)
Kidd began his head coaching career as an interim fill-in with the Brooklyn Nets in 2013-14 and went on to coach the Milwaukee Bucks from 2014 to 2018. The now-Los Angeles Lakers assistant has been looking to become a head honcho again and is the odds-on favorite at this point.
Jay Larranaga (7-1)
Larranaga is the Celtics’ top assistant and could be poised to get his first head coaching job in the NBA. He’s been a head coach in the pros overseas and domestically since 2008 and has already been a part of the Celtics organization since 2012. It’s hard to argue against hiring an in-house candidate with his resume.
Ime Udoka (8-1)
Another member of Gregg Popovich’s coaching tree is ready to make a big jump. Udoka joined the San Antonio Spurs as an assistant after his seven-year career as a player before becoming the Philadelphia 76ers’ defensive specialist in 2019-20. Now he’s with the piping-hot Brooklyn Nets and has built up enough of a resume to be considered for a head coaching job.
Lloyd Pierce (9-1)
Pierce was an assistant coach in the NBA from 2007 to 2018 and spent time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, and Philadelphia 76ers before landing a head coaching gig with the Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta booted him for Nate McMillan after two and a half losing seasons, though. Given how Boston’s last season went, it’s unlikely that the Celtics are looking to hire a coach that’s never had a winning season.
Chauncey Billups (10-1)
This Los Angeles Clippers assistant and former Celtic is gaining traction. While he only spent 51 games in Boston as a rookie before being dealt to the Toronto Raptors and made a name for himself with the Detroit Pistons, Billups is well respected in basketball circles. Billups only landed his first coaching gig in 2020, though. Lack of experience could hurt his changes of landing the job.
Dark horses to watch
Mike D’Antoni (25-1), Kara Lawson (50-1), and Becky Hammon (100-1) are also worth taking a look at. D’Antoni is an assistant with the Nets and has had tremendous success coaching superstars like Steven Nash and James Harden in his best years, He could help the Celtics get the most out of Jayson Tatum. Former Celtics Brian Scalabrine praised the skills of Lawson on Wednesday. The former WNBA star spent time in Boston as an assistant in 2019-20 before taking over as Duke’s head women’s coach for a short stint. Hammon is more of a long shot, as she seems to be Popovich’s heir apparent in San Antonio.
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