Stein: Celtics' Brad Stevens 'Sure to Interest' Danny Ainge to Fill Jazz's HC Opening

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 6, 2022

WALTHAM, MA - APRIL 23: Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, left, and Celtics general manager Danny Ainge watch as Jaylen Brown shoots during Boston Celtics practice in Waltham, MA on April 23, 2018. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Danny Ainge might look to reunite with Brad Stevens as the Utah Jazz embark on their coaching search, according to NBA insider Marc Stein.

Stein described Stevens, who stepped down as head coach of the Boston Celtics in order to become their president of basketball operations, as a candidate "sure to interest" Ainge. However, Stein added the chances of Stevens leaving Boston this offseason are slim.

The Jazz are looking for a new coach after Quin Snyder resigned Sunday.

Because of his past experience with Ainge and success with the Celtics, Stevens would be an obvious target for Utah. The 45-year-old posted a record of 354-282 in eight seasons and guided Boston to the postseason in all but one of his years in charge.

Especially in light of the Celtics' run to the NBA Finals this year, one can argue Stevens failed to get the most out of his squads, but he was also responsible for helping to develop the likes of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart.

The Jazz are in a position similar to that of Boston when it had Stevens move into the front office and hired Ime Udoka. Snyder has the second-best winning percentage (.585) in franchise history, yet it was impossible to overlook the fact that Utah lost in the first round of the NBA playoffs in three of the last four years. Snyder might have taken the team as far as he could.

Stevens not only has a proven track record, but he'd also be a great fit for an organization in a rebuild if it comes to that.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Donovan Mitchell is "unsettled" and "unnerved" following Snyder's resignation. The Jazz would be facing an uncertain future in the event Mitchell requested and was granted a trade.

Of course, Stevens' availability could be a roadblock.

While distancing himself from the Los Angeles Lakers' vacancy, he acknowledged in April he "[has] no idea what my future holds."

Spending a year away from the sideline might have been enough for Stevens to recharge and get the coaching itch again. But it seems unlikely he'd be willing to leave the Celtics' front office already,