Celtics Question of the Day: Which C's assistant will move on next?

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Celtics Question of the Day: Which C's assistant will move on next?

In recent years, the Doc Rivers coaching tree has branched out as assistants have become NBA head coaches.

Tom Thibodeau left in 2010 as the Green Team's defensive czar and took his talents and clipboard to Chicago. His replacement on the Celtics' staff, Lawrence Frank, followed suit last year in taking over the Detroit Pistons.

So who will be next?

Celtics assistants Kevin Eastman and Armond Hill have the smarts, experience and track record to succeed if given an opportunity. But it's unlikely either of them will bolt anytime soon, and with good reason.

They're really good veteran assistants that Rivers knows he can lean on, and often does. And both have embraced that role and the responsibility that comes with it.

While Mike Longabardi and Jamie Young did an excellent job this past season on the C's bench, do not be surprised if Tyronn Lue emerges as the next Celtics assistant on the move.

He's an 11-year NBA veteran having won a pair of titles with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000 and 2001. Being a former player in itself doesn't make you head-coaching material. But in the NBA, it definitely helps.

When you scan the league's head coaching landscape, prior NBA experience seems to be a common thread among most of them. Of the 30 NBA head coaches for the 2012-2013 season, 20 are former players.

But the biggest knock against Lue is experience. This will be his fourth season with the Celtics, and second as an assistant coach. However, the 35-year-old did an impressive job this past summer running Boston's summer league teams in Orlando, Fla. and Las Vegas, respectively.

It also doesn't hurt that he's learning under Rivers, a former player who had no NBA coaching experience when he was picked to become the head coach of the Orlando Magic in 1999.

Regardless of experience, whether it comes as a player or as an NBA assistant, it means little if an opportunity doesn't present itself. And to Lue's credit, that's exactly what he's positioning himself for since coming to Boston.

After coming to grips with his playing career being a thing of the past, he went about laying the foundation for what he hopes will someday be an NBA head coaching job.

So as important as this season is for Rivers and his players, it's a pretty big deal for his assistants, too. Because they know a breakthrough season for the C's could easily pave the way towards their first NBA head coaching gig.

Magic Johnson named Lakers president of basketball ops, Kupchak fired

Magic Johnson named Lakers president of basketball ops, Kupchak fired

Magic Johnson was named the Los Angeles Lakers' president of basketball operations after longtime Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and vice president of basketball ops Jim Buss were fired, the team announced.

"Today I took a series of actions I believe will return the Lakers to the heights [late owner] Dr. Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightly expect,” Jeanie Buss, Jerry Buss' daughter, Jim Buss' brother and Lakers president and co-owner, said in a statement. “Effective immediately, Earvin Johnson will be in charge of all basketball operations and will report directly to me. Our search for a new General Manager to work with Earvin and Coach Luke Walton is well underway and we hope to announce a new General Manager in short order. Together, Earvin, Luke and our new General Manager will establish the foundation for the next generation of Los Angeles Lakers greatness.”

Johnson, the Hall of Famer guard who led L.A. to five NBA titles, said in the same statement: “It’s a dream come true to return to the Lakers as President of Basketball Operations working closely with Jeanie Buss and the Buss family. Since 1979, I’ve been a part of the Laker Nation and I’m passionate about this organization. I will do everything I can to build a winning culture on and off the court. We have a great coach in Luke Walton and good young players. We will work tirelessly to return our Los Angeles Lakers to NBA champions.”

Johnson, part of a group that owns MLB's Los Angeles Dodgers, returned to the organization as an adviser earlier this month. Johnson coached the Lakers briefly in the 1993-94 season, going 5-11. 

Johnson's new job with the Lakers won't change his role with the Dodgers, according to the L.A. Times.

The current Lakers have the third-worst record in the NBA at 19-39 after finishing with the second-worst mark in the league (17-65) last season. Kupchak was named an assistant GM under Jerry West in 1986 and in 2000 took over for West as GM. 


 

Drummond to Boston? Pistons big man's tweets fuel speculation

Drummond to Boston? Pistons big man's tweets fuel speculation

BOSTON -- Two of the NBA’s biggest names on the trade market, Serge Ibaka and DeMarcus Cousins, changed zip codes (Ibaka to Toronto from Orlando, Cousins to New Orleans from Sacramento) without the Celtics showing much interest in swinging a deal for either player.

MORE TRADE TALK

Could it be because they had their sights set on Detroit’s Andre Drummond all along?
 
Pistons general manager/head coach Stan Van Gundy has made no secret about talking with lots of teams about his players leading up to the trade deadline, well aware that his team has been one of the league’s biggest underachievers.

Detroit (27-30) is eighth in the Eastern Conference, trailing first-place Cleveland by 13 games.
 
Drummond was reportedly offered to Sacramento as part of a deal for Cousins, so it should not come as a surprise that his name has found its way into the rumor mill.
 
Still, Drummond only added fuel to the rumor mill fire by re-tweeting the eyeball emojis posted by the Celtics' Isaiah Thomas, something Thomas did shortly before Boston added Al Horford to the mix last summer.


 
And then Drummond followed that up by posting his own set of eyeball emojis on Tuesday, which adds to the speculative nature of a trade-deadline season that ends Thursday at 3 p.m.


 
Drummond, a former UConn standout, is an easy-going, fun-loving guy, so the emoji stuff isn’t all that out of character for him. But he also changed his Twitter profile picture to him waving goodbye. after removing Pistons information from his bio.

Is he pulling our leg, or giving a heads-up that the Celtics are close to pulling off a trade?
 
A league source tells CSNNE.com that while no deal is imminent, Boston is a possible landing spot for Drummond if the Pistons are, in fact, planning on trading him. That, says the source,"is not a definite. [Van Gundy] knows he has to do something significant with that team, if not at the deadline [then] definitely this summer.

"So he’s looking to find out the value for all his guys, Drummond included.”