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New era for Celtics as president Danny Ainge retires, HC Brad Stevens moves up

(AP Photo / Josh Reynolds)

After a disappointing season less than a year removed from an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Boston Celtics are dealing with a major shakeup at the top of the organization.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania broke the news on June 2 that Celtics team president Danny Ainge planned to resign from his role, with Celtics head coach Brad Stevens readying for a “transition from his current role into becoming the new head of basketball ops.”

Per Charania, Stevens “will lead the search for the Celtics’ new head coach.”

The report followed one from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that indicated something similar, saying that Ainge was mulling his future with the team.

“Ainge has been contemplating leaving the job for several months and had been talking about possible succession plans with ownership,” Wojnarowski tweeted.

The Celtics made the moves official in an announcement later in the morning.

“Helping guide this organization has been the thrill of a lifetime, and having worked side-by-side with him since he’s been here, I know we couldn’t be in better hands than with Brad guiding the team going forward,” Ainge said.

The news came less than 12 hours after the Celtics were bounced from the 2021 NBA Playoffs by the Brooklyn Nets, ending their postseason run after just one play-in game and five first-round games.

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The shakeup at the top ensures that Stevens will be sticking around in Boston, despite the rumors throughout the season that he could leave his post as head coach to return to the collegiate scene at a university like Indiana.

With Jayson Tatum rising in the league shortly after his 23rd birthday and Jaylen Brown establishing himself as a mainstay in Boston, the Celtics represent one of the more appealing opportunities for any free-agent head coaches looking for a new job for the 2021-2022 season.

As the Celtics prepare for a new era in the franchise’s history, it’ll be on Stevens to select the right mind to lead the team back to their prior postseason success.

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