The Boston Celtics are among the NBA teams looking for a new head coach this offseason. After Brad Stevens moved into the front office, he seems eager to make a splash with the hire and appease a fanbase frustrated with the team's results over the past few years.
A collection of candidates have been mentioned as potential options for the Celtics, but it sounds like two individuals have emerged as frontrunners to fill the vacancy.
According to Stadium's Jeff Goodman, Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups and Nets assistant Ime Udoka have solidified themselves as top candidates for the job. The basketball insider expanded upon the Celtics interest in the two coaches in an
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“According to my sources right now, there are two names that have really emerged and one of them we don’t know if the Celtics can get, which is Chauncey Billups,” Goodman said. “He’s also in the equation in Portland, maybe in the equation as well in New Orleans. The other name that’s hot right now is Ime Udoka, the Nets assistant coach. He’s been in San Antonio. He’s a guy who’s coached Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart a few years ago in 2019 in the World Championships. Those guys have kind of — not gone to bat for him, but certainly spoken highly of Udoka.
“He’s interviewed multiple times with the Celtics. I talked to somebody who’s been with him for an extended period of time earlier today and they described him as, ‘A guy with an edge. Not a hardass, but a guy with an edge. Defensive-minded, tough, adaptable, young, can really connect with the players. Obviously, it’s not a big name, but I don’t think Brad Stevens feels like he’s got to go into this and get a big name.”
As Goodman points out, it might be difficult to get Billups in the building as the head coach. The Los Angeles Clippers assistant has garnered significant attention from other teams in need of a new coach this offseason.
If that's the case, Udoka would be an impressive get for the Celtics. The 43-year-old has been a part of the San Antonio Spurs, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets, all of which were playoff contenders while he was on staff. Udoka would bring a wealth of experience to Boston, something that the team's young roster sorely needs.
Whoever inherits the Celtics vacancy will have high expectations to meet as soon as they step foot in Boston.