The Boston Celtics can trade suspended head coach Ime Udoka to another NBA team in a pursuit of either draft picks or cash, given that he remains under contract. But that doesn’t mean the Celtics will do so.
Udoka, who was suspended by the Celtics on Sept. 22 due to “violations” of team policy, reportedly is the frontrunner to take over as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets mutually parted ways with head coach Steve Nash as of 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, and reports linked Udoka to Brooklyn less than 90 minutes later. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported it could become official within the next 24-to-48 hours.
The fact Udoka was suspended by the Celtics and not the NBA allows him the opportunity to serve at the helm of another team as soon as this season.
The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach followed up those reports by sharing the Celtics are “unlikely to seek compensation” if Udoka finalizes a deal with the Nets, though. Instead, as shared by ESPN and The Athletic, the Celtics are expected to allow Udoka to leave freely.
The decision to not seek compensation from the Nets could be rooted in the fact the Celtics just simply want the Udoka situation behind them. Udoka, as Celtics fans probably are well-aware, was suspended for the entire 2022-23 campaign after an “improper” relationship with a female staffer reportedly turned into the 45-year-old coach making “unwanted” comments toward the individual. The Celtics female staffer reportedly handled Udoka’s travel arrangements with the organization having to fend off the controversy for much of the last six weeks.
The Celtics named Joe Mazzulla the interim head coach after Udoka’s suspension was announced. The initial suspension felt like it marked the end of Udoka’s time with the Celtics, which essentially has been confirmed given the latest Nets-related reports.
Mazzulla and the Celtics are 4-2 through six games while the Nets are 2-5 in the early going.