The Boston Celtics are facing a crucial offseason. The Brooklyn Nets officially put an end to Danny Ainge's tenure in charge of the team, but the most shocking part was the fact that they promoted coach Brad Stevens into his former role, thus leaving a coaching vacancy that's going to be highly-coveted around the NBA.
It would be naive to say that the Celtics don't have a plan in mind already. They must have a shortlist of candidates that could fit their plans for the future, and Brad Stevens is going to be an active part of the search for his replacement.
That's what makes guessing who'll be the Celtics' next coach kind of tricky. Stevens' coach tree doesn't run that deep and there aren't many options with championship experience available right now. Even so, we put together a list of the 5 most likely candidates to take the realms at Boston next season.
The Most Likely Candidates To Replace Brad Stevens As Celtics Coach
5. Becky Hammon
Becky Hammon is one of the smartest basketball minds in the game right now. He's ready for her first gig as a coach after being Gregg Popovich's assistant for a while and even handling coaching duties with the San Antonio Spurs every now and then.
A couple of months ago, Brad Stevens endorsed Hammond's case to become the first woman coach in the league, so it seems like she's got his attention. "I don't know her well, but I know what people think about her, and I know how well she's respected all across the league by players and the coaches," Stevens said.
4. Kenny Atkinson
Kenny Atkinson was stuck in the worst position you could be. The Brooklyn Nets gave him two superstars that thought he wasn't good enough to lead them to a championship, so the team gave him the boot to please their stars even though he had done an outstanding job.
Atkinson led a not-so-good Nets team to the playoffs the year before Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving showed up. He's proven to be too good to be an assistant coach and did a great job of developing talent for Brooklyn.
3. Lloyd Pierce
Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports reported that Lloyd Pierce is one of the candidates for the job and that doesn't come as a surprise. He has a strong background in player development and that could be a priority for Boston given the plethora of young assets they have right now.
While his stint with the Atlanta Hawks was far from impressive, we've got to say that he didn't have much to work with until this season. Also, it seemed like the players just wanted to go in a different direction and that's not the kind of thing many coaches can come back from.
2. Jay Larranaga
Jay Larranaga is an obvious candidate for the job. It wouldn't be the first time that a team simply promotes a familiar face. He's been an assistant coach there for a while, the players like him and respect him, and he knows how they operate.
Larranaga doesn't have head coaching experience in the NBA but he was strongly considered by Georgia Tech and George Mason in the past, not to mention that he was on the shortlist to replace Doc Rivers in 2013.
1. Jason Kidd
Jason Kidd is the most likely candidate to become the Boston Celtics' new coach. It's not a secret that he was aiming for the main gig with the Los Angeles Lakers and most people consider that they signed him as an assistant as an insurance policy out of doubts about Frank Vogel's coaching skills.
Kidd wants to be a head coach again even though his stints with the Nets and Bucks weren't exactly successful. He's a beloved and respected figure around the league and is familiar with player development as well, so he could be a nice mentor for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown going forward.