Who wouldn’t want to coach the Boston Celtics at this point in time?
ESPN’s Kevin Pelton ranked the Celtics No. 1 among the NBA’s six head-coaching vacancies Wednesday. The potential the Celtics’ roster contains, combined with their front-office stability and path forward, convince Pelton that Boston’s opening is the “clear choice” as the most attractive of them all.
“As underwhelming as the Celtics were this season, they’re a clear choice as the most favorable landing spot for a coach among the current openings,” Pelton wrote. “Start with Boston’s remarkable stability in the front office and on the sideline. This will be just the Celtics’ third coach in an 18-season span … . And neither of Boston’s last two coaching changes has been a firing, as Doc Rivers sought a trade to the LA Clippers (in 2013), while Brad Stevens stepped down in order to replace long-tenured Danny Ainge as president of basketball operations.
“Better yet, the Celtics have their long-term core in place in wings Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Putting the right pieces around them will be a challenge for Stevens, but Boston has already done the hard work of finding young All-Stars. And with Tatum just beginning a rookie extension while Brown enters the second season of his four-year deal, the Celtics don’t face the same pressure to avoid them leaving as with older stars.
“Replacing Stevens while reporting to him will be an interesting situation for Boston’s new head coach. Nonetheless, the Celtics should have their pick of options.”
Stevens currently leads the exhaustive search for his successor. Although a variety of factors make identifying finalists and favorites all-but-impossible at this point, rumors about the hiring timeline, Boston’s criteria and even potential candidates are starting to emerge.
Celtics fans must wait to learn who’ll lead the team from the bench going forward. They can take some comfort in Pelton’s assessment of where their opening ranks in the grand scheme of things.