5 potential replacements for Brad Stevens as Celtics head coach

Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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Celtics, Brad Stevens
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4. Jason Kidd/Lloyd Pierce

We’re cheating a bit here by lumping Jason Kidd and Lloyd Pierce into one spot, but there’s reason for it: According to Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes, both are expected to be candidates for the Boston job, which makes them two of the first names to officially emerge.

Both have head coaching experience, and both come with notable flaws. In Kidd’s case, he’s got plenty of playing and coaching experience, enjoying a Hall-of-Fame career in the league before brief coaching stints with the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks. Nobody’s given him a shot at the main chair since 2018, and he’s served as an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers since 2019.

However, even with a sub-.500 record, he does have head coaching experience, is a big, well-known name and received support from his players at every stop, including Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee.

As for Pierce, his tenure with the Atlanta Hawks ended just 34 games into his third season at the helm. His 63-120 record looks a lot worse than it really was; he was put in charge of chaperoning a rebuild through youth, but when the Hawks didn’t show the requisite improvement this season, he was made into the scapegoat.

To be fair, Pierce’s reportedly rocky relationship with Trae Young and several of the team’s other young cornerstones didn’t help his case, but injuries to De’Andre Hunter and Bogdan Bogdanovic significantly contributed to Atlanta’s early struggles. Nate McMillan deserves credit for the Hawks’ midseason turnaround, but part of it was having a much healthier roster to work with as well.

Pierce is still a qualified candidate, and he’d have a more established roster to work with in Boston. In all honesty though, it feels like the Celtics might be better off entrusting this job to a long-tenured assistant ready to make the leap to the big chair — a category all three of our next candidates belong to.