There’s been some backroom NBA chatter surrounding the Celtics over the past two weeks, even outside of the NBA Finals. Veteran reporter Marc Stein suggested on June 6 that the Jazz, now managed by former Celtics president Danny Ainge, could chase current Celtics president Brad Stevens to take over as Quin Snyder’s replacement last month resigned from his job.
But is there really a chance Stevens could return to coaching just over a year after he was moved to the front office by the Celtics to replace Ainge? Unlikely, said Steve Bulpett, a Heavy.com NBA insider who has covered the Celtics since 1986.
“I spoke to Brad a few times towards the end of the year and I felt like he made a commitment to this situation,” Bulpett said in a video call. “He seems okay with that. He went down the path where he had a lot less exposure to the Boston media, so he’s kind of maintained his work-life balance, which is important to him.”
Ainge, Stevens “Communicate Regularly”
Sure, Stevens and Ainge maintain a healthy relationship even after parting ways that led Ainge to becoming CEO in Utah, his home state.
“I know Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens communicate regularly,” Bulpett said. “Danny hired Brad from Butler as a coach in 2013 and that surprised a lot of people. But there is a relationship there. Brad went to Danny, especially before Danny was hired as Jazz’s CEO, that’s when they discussed it even more intensely. But Brad is his own type.”
It would be odd if Stevens, after leading the team for a year and turning it into a seminal Eastern Conference champion — core stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are only 25 and 24, respectively — left the ship after the first year would leave. Stevens made several bold moves, including trading for Al Horford and adding Derrick White to the close of trades, which helped propel the Celtics to the top of the East.
Brad Stevens might have his choice of coaching jobs
As Bulpett pointed out, Stevens may well find himself wanting to return to training. But he doesn’t have to rush it and can patiently find the right job for himself.
“Here’s the thing as well, look at it from Brad Stevens’ point of view, everything else aside – you know that if you decide to get back into the coaching game, you know you’ll have opportunities, whenever You want to. Wherever you want it, professional or certainly college, he would have his selection of top jobs,” Bulpet said.
“So, if you want to get involved with the Utah Jazz, a team that performed well in the regular season but stumbled really badly in the playoffs and is possibly looking for a major rebuild, you might want to be a part of that?” ? Or is that how you want to do it when you become a coach again, like Steve Kerr did, rejecting the Knicks and going to the Golden State.