In the wake of their first-round playoff series loss to the Brooklyn Nets, the Boston Celtics unexpectedly reconstructed their front office on Wednesday, as the team announced that head coach Brad Stevens is leaving the sideline to replace the retiring Danny Ainge as president of basketball operations.
Stevens, who joined the Celtics back in 2013, will be tasked with not only finding his own successor as a front office newbie, but also making shrewd, cost-effective roster moves. And the question is, which coaching candidates should be on Boston's radar this summer?
Former Celtics forward and current team radio analyst Cedric Maxwell happens to have a few names in mind.
"In Brad's case, for him to come in and start buying the groceries, it is going to be interesting to see," Maxwell told The Zach Gelb Show on Wednesday. "The people who I look at right now, one would be Mark Jackson. I would love to have him as a head coach for the Boston Celtics. But I think another side of me also says Chauncey Billups, who was first drafted by the Celtics and is now with the Clippers. I think he would be another guy that I would look at fondly."
Jackson, who last coached in the NBA during the 2013-14 season, has spent the last seven years as a game analyst for ESPN. In three seasons with the Golden State Warriors, he led the franchise to two playoff appearances, and laid the foundation for their championship dynasty.
As for Billups, a five-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA selection, he's in his first season as an assistant head coach for the Los Angeles Clippers. The former point guard was drafted third overall by Boston in the 1997 NBA Draft, and spent a total of 17 seasons in the league.
"I would hope that they would [interview Jackson] because he was really the architect of what Golden State did," Maxwell said. "Obviously, he wasn't there for the championships, but he still was the guy who got [head coach Steve] Kerr, and got the Splash Brothers [in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson] really together, and formulated a real good offense. So, I don't know if they will [interview Jackson], but I'm hoping they will...
"I think that Brad will take this job on in a very serious manner, and hire the coach, and pretty much be hands-off. I don't think that he's going to be looking over somebody's shoulder, trying to see what decisions are being made. A general manager gives the coach the players, and then he kind of backs away. And I think that's what Brad would probably do."
Stevens took the Celtics to the playoffs in seven of eight seasons, but the franchise hasn't won an NBA championship since 2008. That year, Stevens was a rookie college basketball head coach for the Butler Bulldogs.
The entire conversation between Maxwell and Gelb can be accessed in the audio player above.