Prominent former head coach rumored to join Joe Mazzulla's Celtics staff

Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets
Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets / Bob Levey/GettyImages

Jeff Van Gundy can become a Boston Celtics coach ahead of the 2024-25 season according to Marc Stein of The Stein Line; serving in a pivotal role under Joe Mazzulla after doing great work with the "stay-ready" group this past year.

"The Boston Celtics are exploring the idea of Jeff Van Gundy joining Joe Mazzulla's coaching staff as an assistant next season," RealGM's Wiretap read. "Van Gundy is currently working with the team as a senior consultant on the basketball operations side. The Celtics are losing top assistant Charles Lee to the Hornets this offseason. Van Gundy turned down a role on Jason Kidd's staff last summer."

Brad Stevens gave Van Gundy credit for the last two games of the 2023-24 regular season, which saw the second unit take over given the C's long-established top record in the Eastern Conference. The development of Payton Pritchard and Sam Hauser, in particular, has given Boston a full rotation of reliable contributors. Luke Kornet has also shone in his role with Van Gundy in tow.

Having a powerful presence like that on the sidelines is a good way to keep Mazzulla in check should the Celtics win the 2024 NBA Championship; or worse, fall short, and give the Boston media endless offseason speculation fodder.

Jeff Van Gundy can earn himself head coaching consideration if Boston Celtics win it all

There's been a stark difference between the C's young players have played in 2023-24 compared to Mazzulla's first season with the franchise. Sure, there were moves made to enable bigger (and evidently better) roles in the rotation, and having Ime Udoka abruptly fired before the season didn't help matters, but many Celtics saw their output regress in 2022-23.

Van Gundy can be given a lot of credit for his presence this season, and if one team gives him enough credit, an offer to become their full-time head coach can follow.

Does Van Gundy entertain those offers? That'd be the next big controversy in Boston if the Cs remove the on-court doubts with a title this June.