Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Boston Celtics [Print without images]

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Ainge hasn't started coaching search

By Chris Forsberg

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said that because of the very tenuous nature of the trade talks that officially delivered head coach Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, he has not started the process of determining who will take Rivers' spot on the Boston bench next season.

"I have not talked to one coaching candidate yet," Ainge said. "I have thought, in anticipation that this could happen, [about potential replacements]. I do watch coaches often as I travel around. ... I do have some people in mind."

Ainge said he would first huddle with his personnel staff. Rivers is expected to take a portion of his staff out west, perhaps including Ty Lue, the former NBA guard who much of the league is high on. The Celtics have only one of Rivers' assistant currently under contract for next season in Jay Larranaga, who has been leading pre-draft workouts and is expected to coach the team's summer league entry in Orlando.

Ainge said there is no hurry to install a coach, though he did zing Rivers a bit while noting, "We would have liked to have a coaching staff last month. That would have been nice."

"We're in no hurry," Ainge said. "We're just going to try to find the best available coach."

He added, "We don’t need a coach for the draft; we don’t need a coach for summer league. We don’t need that to happen fast, so we’ll take our time, unless our No. 1 choice makes a quick decision."

Asked if he might throw his own name in the hat, Ainge ended that speculation.

"No," he exclaimed. "I've tried that. I'm done with that."

Ainge knows he'll have trouble finding a partner he can forge as close a relationship as he shared with Rivers. But he wasn't throwing up his hands either. "I’ve been around this game long enough to know that we’re all replaceable," he said.

Lionel Hollins, who led the Memphis Grizzlies to the Western Conference finals last season and once drew interest from the Celtics as a potential Rivers assistant, is one of the more noteworthy free-agent coaches. If Lue follows Rivers out west, one wonders if the Celtics might consider an old friend like Sam Cassell, who was part of the title team in 2008 and has served as an assistant with the Washington Wizards. Boston also could examine some of the league's top young assistants, such as Houston's J.B. Bickerstaff or Miami's David Fizdale. Yahoo! Sports reported Tuesday that Larranaga, a former D-League coach, also could earn consideration for the vacancy.