2. Brad Stevens
Could the 46-year-old go from president of basketball operations back to head coach? Gregg Popovich was a Spurs assistant for four years before leaving and coming back as general manager and vice president of basketball ops in 1994. With the team struggling two years later, he fired head coach Bob Hill and took over. Pat Riley did it with the Miami Heat in 2005. Both recent examples resulted in winning at least one championship.
Does Stevens join the list? He led the Celtics to the conference finals three times in eight seasons and was regarded as one of the best coaches in the league during his tenure with the Celtics.
The 46-year-old could come in and clean up the mess if Joe Mazzulla gets fired. Stevens shot down the notion when Ime Udoka was suspended, but things could be different midseason with Boston all-in on winning the title.
He stepped away from coaching after feeling “worn down” in 2021. With two years to recharge in a new role where he has shaped the roster, Stevens could immediately step back in and win a championship. It would be a bold move, but there is a blueprint from two Hall of Famers. Brad Stevens will have to resist the urge to try his hand if the Boston Celtics get off to a slow start this season.