BOSTON -- A high-profile college job is vacant, so that can only mean one thing around these parts… Brad Stevens’ name will be tossed around as a potential target of that team’s search even though there's no indication he would consider such a job or that Danny Ainge would allow him out of his multi-year contract to pursue such a position.
The Michigan Wolverines are in the market for a new head coach after John Beilein accepted the Cleveland Cavaliers' head coaching job.
It is unclear if the Wolverines have asked to speak with Stevens, something that if they did would likely get rebuffed by Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations.
It's not like when Doc Rivers wanted out of Boston to become the head coach/General Manager of the Los Angeles Clippers in 2013.
The Celtics received compensation from the Clippers in the form of a draft pick, to let Rivers out of his deal with Boston.
No such dynamic exists if a coach wanted to go from the pros back to college, or vice versa.
Stevens, whose success at Butler was instrumental in the Celtics seeking him out and eventually hiring him to be the franchise’s 17th head coach in 2013, has repeatedly said he’s not looking to leave the Celtics and coach another program in the pro or college ranks.
And as recently as 2016, Stevens agreed to a multi-year contract extension that solidified him sticking around for years to come.
“It’s an honor to be a member of the Boston Celtics,” Stevens said at the time of his 2016 extension. “And we’ll continue striving for growth in pursuit of Banner 18.”
That goal hit a bit of a snag this season when the Celtics, picked by most to at least advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for what would have been a third straight year, fell short in being eliminated by the Milwaukee Bucks in the conference semifinals in just five games.
Following the Game 5 loss, Stevens acknowledged he could have done a better job with this year’s team.
“I’ll be the first to say that, as far as any other year that I’ve been a head coach, it’s certainly been the most trying,” Stevens said. “I think I did a bad job. Like, at the end of the day, as a coach, if your team doesn’t find its best fit together that’s on you. So I’ll do a lot of deep dives into how I can be better.”
While Stevens was certainly disappointed and to some degree dejected in his own performance this season, it was evident following the Celtics season coming to an end that there were a number of issues that included but certainly weren't limited to, Stevens' struggles to find the best fit for the talent he had to work with to play their best together.
And while it certainly seems like an ideal time for a college or university to make a run at Stevens, all indications at this point lead to Stevens returning for what will be his seventh NBA season, which is one more than he spent at the college ranks with Butler.
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