Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens acknowledged last week how the organization would target an assistant coach with NBA experience in hopes of adding them to Joe Mazzulla’s coaching staff.

It felt like there was no better option for the Celtics than Sam Cassell, especially after Frank Vogel took over at the helm of the Phoenix Suns. And it’s exactly why Green Teamers should be thrilled about the hiring of Cassell, as first reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania on Sunday night.

Cassell is the perfect person to serve as Mazzulla’s head assistant or associate head coach.

The NBA lifer has spent the last 14 seasons as an assistant in the league. His role on the sidelines started immediately after he concluded his 15-year playing career, which included an NBA All-Star nod and three championships, the final coming with the Celtics. He’s served as Doc Rivers’ lead assistant and was both respected and admired by the 76ers during his three seasons in Philadelphia.

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Throughout the years, Cassell was largely credited for the emergence of Tyrese Maxey, built a strong and well-documented relationship with James Harden and former Wizards guard John Wall called Cassell a “big part” of his growth during their time in Washington.

Cassell recently interviewed for the Houston Rockets head coaching gig that ultimately went to former Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, and has interviewed for other head jobs in the past. He even was speculated to be a potential candidate for Boston’s head job before the 2021-22 campaign. That job, of course, went to Udoka, who was ultimately let go by the organization one year later due to violations of team policy.

With Boston’s staff likely to have a number of comings and goings, Cassell provides the Celtics with someone on the bench who played in the NBA and can manage relationships with star players. He’ll gain — if not already have — the respect of Celtics stars like Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, both of whom defended Mazzulla after Boston’s season came to an end in the Eastern Conference finals. The Celtics, after the mid-March departure of Damon Stoudamire, did not have much NBA experience on their bench. It could play a role in a team’s connectivity and mindset.

The addition of Cassell probably will not be Boston’s only transaction as it relates to the coaching staff. Udoka essentially confirmed his plans to poach the Celtics assistants he initially brought to Boston. Assistant coach Ben Sullivan and player development coaches Garret Jackson and Mike Moser reportedly are planning to join Udoka’s staff. Fellow assistant Aaron Miles, the only other with NBA experience, reportedly is being targeted by the Rockets as well. Tony Dobbins would be the only front-bench assistant remaining should Miles and the others depart, as pointed out by The Athletic.

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So while there’s still plenty to play out, Celtics fans might find comfort knowing Mazzulla’s lead man is locked down. And that’s pivotal for a staff given the mass exodus of coaching knowledge last season.

Featured image via Darren Yamashita/USA TODAY Sports Images