Former Celtics Assistant Intriguing Option to Replace Charles Lee

Apr 12, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; Phoenix Suns head coach Frank Vogel reacts to a call.
Apr 12, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; Phoenix Suns head coach Frank Vogel reacts to a call. / Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
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In Joe Mazzulla's first chance to fill out his Celtics staff, he built one of the NBA's best, including bringing two of the league's top assistant coaches on board, Charles Lee and Sam Cassell.

But as expected, Lee's stay in Boston will only last one year. While he's committed to the Celtics' playoff run, when it ends, he will fully immerse himself in his first opportunity to become an NBA bench boss, taking the reigns of the Charlotte Hornets.

Cassell could potentially depart in the summer, too. He's reportedly emerged as an initial front-runner for the Lakers' head coaching job.

Mazzulla's locked in on trying to do his part to help Boston finish the current campaign with eight more wins and a parade down Boylston Street. But this offseason, he'll have at least one vacancy to fill on his coaching staff.

He could do so internally, promoting a promising coach like Tony Dobbins or Ross McMains. But if he wants to bring in a more established individual to be his new lead assistant, perhaps it results in Frank Vogel returning to where his NBA coaching career began.

Vogel got his start with the Celtics as a video coordinator under Rick Pitino. Still in Boston five years later, the 2001-02 season became his first as an assistant coach in the Association.

He's since gone on to sit in the one chair for 902 games, amassing a 480-422 record that includes working as the Lakers' bench boss when they captured the NBA title in 2020.

While it's not the only way to accomplish it, and the Celtics don't have to search externally to help ensure they still have one of the league's best coaching staffs, Vogel returning to flank Mazzulla would soften the blow of Lee's departure.

Bobby Krivitsky


Bobby Krivitsky's experiences include covering the NBA as a credentialed reporter for Basketball Insiders. He's also a national sports talk host for SportsMap Radio, a network airing on 96 radio stations throughout the country. Additionally, he was a major-market host, update anchor, and producer for IMG Audio, and he worked for Bleacher Report as an NFL and NBA columnist.