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Earlier this week, the Celtics received permission from the Clippers to speak with Jay Larranaga, who spent nine years in Boston as an assistant coach. However, Larranaga chose to stay in Los Angeles.

According to Marc Stein, via his substack, The Stein Line, the Celtics are expressing interest in two accomplished former NBA head coaches to add to Joe Mazzulla's staff.

"The Celts are … interested in two of the top available former head coaches — Frank Vogel and Terry Stotts — but pessimistic about their chances of luring either to usher the unproven Mazzulla through this massive step up onto the big stage."

Regarding Vogel, he and Brad Stevens have a long-standing relationship. And well before he became a championship-winning head coach with the Lakers in the bubble in 2020, Vogel began his career in Boston as the Celtics' head video coordinator. He then joined the coaching staff as an assistant in 2001, spending three years in that role.


While Vogel is an outstanding defensive coach, Stotts is better known for his work on the offensive side of the operation. He has over 500 wins as a head coach, mostly from his nine years at the helm in Portland. In 2019, the Blazers made a run to the Western Conference Finals.

Either would be an excellent addition as Joe Mazzulla goes from sitting behind the bench a season ago to being Boston's head coach. Given that the Celtics boasted the NBA's top defense in 2021-22, are returning the mainstays of their playoff rotation, and added Malcolm Brogdon, a sharp and versatile defender, perhaps bringing Stotts onto Mazzulla's staff would give Boston more of a boost.

Joe Mazzulla, Media Day

The possibility exists that adding either of them could end up undermining Mazzulla's authority. After all, this coaching staff got put together by someone else, and Mazzulla's a first-year head coach, taking a significant leap as he becomes the youngest active head coach in the NBA at 34.

However, the team's assistants are far more professional than that and focused on helping this team in its championship pursuit. Anything to the contrary would stand in the way of career advancement.

Earlier this week, when asked about his reliance on the rest of the coaching staff, Mazzulla responded, "great staff; their character is great, their leadership, their communication. I try to ask them more questions before making decisions, (and) the great thing is we built a great dynamic on our staff last year. We all know each other's strengths and weaknesses very well, we all know how to communicate with each other, and they do a great job."

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And when it comes to the potential hiring of Vogel or Stotts, the better bet is they would help Mazzulla grow in his new role rather than their presence creating friction.

The Celtics might be "pessimistic" about the prospect of adding Vogel or Stotts to their coaching staff, but perhaps if their offer is substantial enough, it sways one of them to come to Boston. After all, taking on a role of this nature for the team SI Sportsbook views as the betting favorite to win the championship this season might prove beneficial to their ambitions of becoming an NBA head coach again.

Further Reading

Celtics Sign Blake Griffin; Here's What He Provides and Why They Chose Him

Joe Mazzulla Discusses Dynamic Working with Celtics' Coaching Staff Mostly Brought on by Ime Udoka

Celtics Taking Notice of Jayson Tatum's Growth as a Leader

Malcolm Brogdon: 'this is the most talented team I've played on'

Celtics Players Only Know So Much About Ime Udoka's Suspension, But They're Focused on Weathering the Storm

Here's What Jaylen Brown Had to Say About Communication with Celtics After Coming Up in Trade Rumors Again

Joe Mazzulla Discusses College Arrests, His Subsequent Journey, and Becoming the Celtics' Head Coach

Here's What Stands Out About the Celtics' Schedule