How Ime Udoka’s Return Could Effect Celtics, Nets Long Term

Udoka's staff is still working in Boston


Nov 1, 2022

All signs are pointing toward suspended Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka being let out of his contract to become the next head coach of the Brooklyn Nets — a move that will have lasting effects on both franchises.

The Nets and head coach Steve Nash parted ways Tuesday, opening up the NBA’s first coaching job since Udoka was suspended by the Celtics in September. Naturally, their first call reportedly was Boston’s former bench boss.

Shortly after the news broke of Nash’s departure from the Nets, it was reported that Udoka was their top target and the Celtics would allow their former head coach to leave the organization to take over in Brooklyn. With all of that, the focus quickly shifts to how the move could potentially affect each franchise, in the short and long term.

As things stand, with Boston being led by Joe Mazzulla and Brooklyn being led by Jacque Vaughn, both teams are viewed as title contenders.

DraftKings Sportsbook listed NBA Finals odds as follows prior to a potential Udoka hire:
Golden State Warriors +600
Boston Celtics +600
Milwaukee Bucks +650
Los Angeles Clippers +650
Brooklyn Nets +850

Those odds will obviously move around. If the Nets continue on their trajectory (2-5 record through seven games) they won’t stick in the top five. If the Celtics continue to struggle defensively, they may fall as well. But those are short-term effects, what about the long-term stuff?

“One interesting dynamic from Udoka landing in Brooklyn: Several of his guys remain assistants on the Celtics staff,” The Athletic’s Jay King tweeted Tuesday. “I don’t anticipate anything changing this season. They are under contract in Boston. But the situation could be something to monitor long term.”

Among those assistants, Damon Stoudamire, Ben Sullivan and Aaron Miles all arrived in Boston alongside Udoka. Would any of them consider a move next season? That will likely depend on how the 2022-23 season shakes out.

Thumbnail photo via Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports Images
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