Report: Ainge's Jazz set to interview two Celtics assistants for HC job

Joe Mazzulla

The Boston Celtics' coaching staff has done impressive work this season -- and their competitors have noticed.

The Utah Jazz, who parted ways with head coach Quin Snyder on Sunday, have received permission from the Celtics to interview Boston assistant coaches Will Hardy and Joe Mazzulla, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

Utah also is expected to interview New York Knicks assistant Johnnie Bryant, Milwaukee Bucks assistant Charles Lee, Jazz assistant Alex Jensen and former Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts, per Woj.

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The Jazz's interest in Hardy and Mazzulla shouldn't be surprising considering that Utah's CEO, Danny Ainge, spent 18 years in the Celtics organization before stepping down as president of basketball operations last June. Ainge has been very complimentary of the C's amid their run to their first NBA Finals since 2010.

Mazzulla overlapped with Ainge for two seasons in Boston; he joined Brad Stevens' staff as an assistant in 2019 and was the lone holdover when Ime Udoka took over for Stevens last summer. The West Virginia alum also coached the Celtics' G-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, during the 2016-17 season.

Hardy, who graduated from nearby Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., is Udoka's top assistant in Boston and is viewed as a strong potential head coach candidate after 10 seasons working on Gregg Popovich's San Antonio Spurs staff.


Losing either Mazzulla or Hardy would be a tough blow for the Celtics, but it's much too early to tell whether either assistant will be a finalist for the Utah job. For now, their focus will be solely on the Golden State Warriors, with Game 3 of the NBA Finals set for Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET at TD Garden.