Danny Ainge stepping down from role leading Celtics basketball operations

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Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations is contemplating stepping down from his function with the Boston Celtics, in accordance with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:

Ainge has been answerable for Boston’s basketball operations since Might of 2003.

In his 18-plus years main the Celtics, Ainge was a significant a part of bringing residence the franchise’s document 17th NBA championship. In the summertime of 2007, Ainge swung a pair of offers to accumulate Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to staff with Paul Pierce to guide Boston again to glory.

Within the years main as much as that huge summer season, Ainge made a number of different trades as nicely. On the heels of a six-year run with Garnett and Pierce, “Dealer Danny” made a large commerce with the Brooklyn Nets to accumulate a bundle of draft picks to set Boston up for the longer term. Two of these picks turned Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, who’re the Celtics cornerstones.

Over the previous yr, Ainge has come underneath elevated scrutiny for a way he’s put collectively the staff round his younger All-Star duo. In successive offseasons, the Celtics have misplaced Al Horford, Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Kemba Walker was given a max contract to interchange Irving, and delivered an All-Star season in 2019-20. Sadly, Walker spent the latter portion of that yr injured and missed significantly time in 2020-21 whereas coping with the identical knee damage.

This season Boston confronted appreciable expectations from many of the fanbase, however didn’t ship. As a consequence of accidents, diseases and inconsistency from the staff’s younger roster, the Celtics fell to 7th within the Japanese Convention. Boston battled Brooklyn within the first spherical of the playoffs, however the uber-talented Nets received the collection pretty simply by a 4-1 margin.

There’s a sense that the Celtics are dealing with some uncertainty shifting ahead. Brown and Tatum are each signed long-term, however a number of different key gamers are approaching the ends of their offers. Marcus Sensible is getting into the ultimate season of his four-year contract in 2021-22. Walker has a participant possibility for 2022-23, albeit one he’s anticipated to select up given its $37.6 million worth and his well being issues. The remainder of the roster is made up of function gamers on short-term offers and younger gamers who’re nonetheless a methods away from assembly their potential.

That makes this a key offseason for Boston, and one Ainge may both shepherd ahead or step away from fully. It’s been long-assumed that if/when Ainge leaves the Celtics, he’ll hand the reins over to longtime assistant Mike Zarren. Zarren is a lifelong Celtics diehard and has been instrumental in serving to construct the staff up throughout Ainge’s tenure.

Zarren has been linked to openings to guide his personal staff previously, however has remained with Boston. Many assume that’s due to his ties to the staff and his place to finally take over from Ainge.

The opposite possibility can be for Boston to go outdoors of the “household” and herald recent face to guide group. There was some criticism previously that the Celtics are too tied to their very own inside circle and their very own previous. Some have pushed the franchise to think about new management that doesn’t have earlier ties to the staff.

The Celtics are at a little bit of a crossroads. They’ve some main roster selections to make, whereas making certain that their two younger stars know the staff is prioritizing successful. Now, for the primary time in practically 20 years, there’s a query about who will make these selections.



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