The Celtics' brain trust will look far different in 2021–22 as Brad Stevens will move to a full-time role in Boston's front office, the team confirmed Wednesday.
Stevens will replace Danny Ainge as the team's president of basketball operations as Ainge steps down from his role with the organization. Boston's search for a new head coach will begin "immediately," per a team statement.
Ainge, 62, has worked as a Boston executive since 2003. He was instrumental in building a perennial playoff team over the last decade, and he also helped deliver the 2008 championship with the acquisitions of Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. Ainge is not expected to retire, and he could join the Jazz front office in some capacity, Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix reports.
"Helping guide this organization has been the thrill of a lifetime, and having worked side-by-side with him since he's been here, I know we couldn't be in better hands than with [Stevens] guiding the team going forward," Ainge said Wednesday. "I'm grateful to ownership, all of my Celtics colleagues, and the best fans in basketball for being part of the journey."
Stevens has been Boston's head coach since 2013, logging seven straight playoff appearances with the franchise. It was a tumultuous '20–21 season for Boston after a conference finals berth last year, as the Celtics finished 36–36 before losing to the Nets in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Lakers assistant Jason Kidd and former Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce are among the lead candidates in Boston's coaching search, per Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes. Former Finals MVP and current Clippers assistant coach Chauncey Billups is also expected to be a candidate, according to Yahoo Sports' Vincent Goodwill. The new Celtics coach will be the franchise's third since 2004.
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