Those believing Joe Mazzulla could lose his job after his first season with the Boston Celtics probably hadn’t been made aware of the head coach’s contract. Because the reported pact now makes it tougher to envision the organization moves on this offseason.
NBA insider Shams Charania wrote Tuesday for The Athletic that Mazzulla has three years and $14 million guaranteed left on his current agreement.
The organization has not announced the terms of Mazzulla’s deal with Charania being the first to offer any indication. Should Charania’s reporting be accurate, and there’s no reason to believe it isn’t, it would mean Mazzulla has an average annual value of $4.7 million per season over the next three years. It’s certainly a pretty penny for someone who never had experience at the NBA level, despite the fact it ranks outside the top 10 salaries among coaches last season.
The Celtics named Mazzulla their head coach and thus signed him to the deal in mid-February. It came after he initially took over for former head coach Ime Udoka on an interim basis. Udoka was suspended for the 2022-23 campaign due to multiple violations of team conduct, which reportedly stemmed from an improper relationship with a female subordinate.
Mazzulla seemingly made strides during the postseason after a regular season in which he was consistently criticized, specifically due to his unwillingness to use timeouts. He showed an improvement in that area during the final stretch of the Eastern Conference finals, but nevertheless failed to put the Celtics in position to capture the long-awaited Banner 18. Mazzulla was not the only reason behind Boston’s exit in the conference finals, but is deserving of his share of the blame.
We’ll have to wait and see if the organization views Mazzulla’s role in Boston’s underwhelming ending as something it can come back from. The contract he’s been given and Charania’s belief the Celtics will bring in a veteran assistants to help, however, makes it feel like he’ll return to the parquet.