Celtics Finalizing Deal To Hire Next Head Coach: Report

By Jason Hall

June 23, 2021

New Orleans Pelicans v Brooklyn Nets
Photo: Getty Images

The Boston Celtics reportedly plan to hire Brooklyn Nets assistant Ime Udoka as their next head coach.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports sources close to the discussions confirm the Celtics are finalizing an agreement with Udoka, 43, who had previously served as an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2019-20 and the San Antonio Spurs for several seasons, before joining the Nets prior to the 2020-21 season.

Wojnarowski reports Udoka, who served under his former San Antonio boss Gregg Popovich with the U.S. national team during the 2019 World Cup tournament, received positive feedback from Celtics players who played in the tournament.

Udoka will replace former Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, who was promoted to president of basketball operations following longtime team team president Danny Ainge's retirement.

Udoka will takeover a Celtics team that recently traded away Kemba Walker in exchange to bring back veteran big man Al Horford and center Moses Brown, in an effort to maximize production from All-Star wings Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

Udoka had previously played seven seasons in the NBA which included stints with the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings and Spurs prior to transitioning to coaching.

Udoka's best season as a player came during the 2006-07 campaign with the Portland Trail Blazers, which included starting 75 games and averaging 8.4 points and 3.7 rebounds.

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