Things move fast in the NBA, and the past day for the Boston Celtics has been no exception. On Monday, they were preparing for what would be their final game of the season, Game 5 against the Brooklyn Nets. On Tuesday morning, Danny Ainge is out as president of basketball operations and head coach Brad Stevens has moved up into the executive suite to replace him.
That’s quite a 12-hour turnaround, and nobody saw any of it coming.
The Boston Celtics wasted no time in making big moves after their season was ended. With Brad Stevens as the top exec, it’s time to find a new head coach
Now that Ainge is out and Stevens is the top shot-caller, it’s decision time. The Celtics suddenly have an opening at head coach, and time is of the essence to fill it before other desirable qualified candidates get swept up by other teams as the NBA does its annual Head Coach Culling.
We’ll take a look at three head coaching candidates that could help set the Boston Celtics back on a path to glory.
Chauncey Billups has the respect and the resume to open doors for him in almost any head coaching situation at this point. He’s currently Ty Lue’s top assistant with the LA Clippers, but his opportunity as a head coach in the NBA grows closer with every passing day. Billups was drafted by the Celtics, although his stay was tumultuous and brief, and he has connections with the young stars on this roster. He also has championship experience, holding a Finals MVP and NBA championship with the 2003-04 Detroit Pistons and was the fulcrum of an Eastern Conference dynasty for most of the aughts. He’ll be worthy of an extensive look, and the job may ultimately be his if he wants it.
Perhaps the last time you heard David Vanterpool‘s name was when the Minnesota Timberwolves passed over consideration of him for their then-vacant head coaching position, instead going out-of-house to hire Chris Finch away from the Toronto Raptors. NBA players erupted with anger over this oversight, particularly Damian Lillard who played for him when he was with the Portland Trail Blazers. He brings defensive acumen to the table, as well as league-wide respect from players, and he deserves a look from Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics.
Nate McMillan is a name that hasn’t been mentioned or reported as an early target, perhaps due to the fact that his Atlanta Hawks are still alive and kicking in the NBA playoffs with a 3-1 lead over the New York Knicks. After his predecessor Lloyd Pierce was fired in March, McMillan was promoted to interim head coach and led his team to one of the best records in the NBA over the final two-and-a-half months of the season. While he’s expected to receive heavy interest from the Hawks to retain him, the Boston Celtics could prove to be a dark-horse suitor and pry him away with a long-term commitment and the opportunity to help restore the green and white to its former glory.