The quest for Brad Stevens to find his own successor has officially gotten underway. Stevens, who recently stepped down as the Boston Celtics‘ head coach to replace Danny Ainge in the front office, has already interviewed the likes of Jay Larranaga, Jerome Allen, Scott Morrison and Joe Mazzulla for the job — all members of his former coaching staff.
Now, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Stevens has expanded his search outside of just internal candidates. The insider has reported that the Celtics’ president has sought and received permission to interview multiple NBA assistants for the vacancy, including Bucks’ Darvin Ham and Charles Lee, Mavericks’ Jamahl Mosley, Nets’ Ime Udoka and most notably, Clippers’ Chauncey Billups.
The latter, a former top-three draft pick of the Celtics back in 1997, is one of a handful of potential candidates with previous ties to the organization. With that said, while names such as 76ers’ assistant Sam Cassell and Duke women’s basketball coach Kara Lawson can both be perceived as legitimate applicants for the job, The Athletic’s believe it is Billups who “checks all the boxes” for Boston — of course, aside from his limited coaching resume.
Chauncey Billups has been the most popular name on the market so far because he fits the most apparent coaching need as a relatively young former champion — as in he is the same age as Stevens — who has been lauded for his leadership, competitiveness and accountability. Those are the three traits the Celtics were missing this season besides by far the most impactful one: health. He’s far from the only option, but he does check all the boxes besides, of course, head coaching experience.
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Does Billups Want the Celtics Job?
While Billups appears to be atop the Celtics’ wish list this offseason, the former Finals MVP may have a different head coaching gig in mind. With three other head coach openings across the league; the Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic and Portland Trail Blazers, Billups is bound to receive his fair share of interest. And by the sound of it, Boston may not be atop his list of preferred destinations.
When asked by TMZ Sports whether Billups wants the Trail Blazers’ head coaching job, Billups’ former Detroit Pistons teammate, Rip Hamilton, responded emphatically, “Yeah!”