Celtics’ Jeff Van Gundy receiving intersst to join Clippers’ staff




Celtics

Van Gundy joined the Celtics last offseason as a senior consultant.

Celtics’ Jeff Van Gundy receiving intersst to join Clippers’ staff
Jeff Van Gundy has been working with Brad Stevens this season. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff).

The Celtics are already set to lose their lead assistant coach when the season ends, but they could lose another key member of their staff.

Celtics senior consultant Jeff Van Gundy is drawing “strong interest” from the Clippers for a “high-profile” position on Tyronn Lue’s coaching staff, longtime NBA insider Marc Stein reported. Los Angeles’ pursuit of Van Gundy has a “strong chance” of succeeding once Boston’s NBA Finals run ends, Stein added in his report.

Van Gundy joined the Celtics’ front office this past offseason in the unique role. Coincidentally, Van Gundy’s other option was to join Jason Kidd’s staff with the Mavericks, who the Celtics are facing in the NBA Finals.

With lead assistant Charles Lee set to become the head coach of the Hornets once the season ends, the Celtics have considered hiring Van Gundy onto Joe Mazzulla’s coaching staff, Stein reported earlier in June.

The specifics of Van Gundy’s role are a bit unclear, but he’s spent time working in Maine with the Celtics’ G League affiliate. He’s also been seen with the team on a consistent basis later on in the season and has been by president of basketball operations Brad Stevens’s side a lot.

Stevens complimented the job Van Gundy has done this season when he spoke with reporters in April.

“Jeff’s been great,” Stevens said. “And it’s all the way through that coaching staff. They’ve been terrific. Jeff, in his consultant role, our six player enhancement coaches have been amazing with our ‘stay ready’ group.”

Van Gundy’s position with the Celtics was his first gig with an NBA team since 2007. After spending 11 seasons as a head coach between 1995-2007, Van Gundy worked as the lead analyst on ESPN/ABC’s NBA broadcasts for 16 years. The company laid him off last summer as part of its company-wide layoffs.

“I will say this, I’ve known Jeff a long time and gotten a chance to spend a lot of time with him over the years,” Stevens said of his relationship with Van Gundy. “It is fun watching a game with him when he doesn’t have to speak in 15- second sound bites. He’s pretty entertaining.”

While Van Gundy reportedly seems like he’ll be heading out of Boston when the season ends, the Celtics might be able to keep one of their top assistants. After the Bucks hired Darvin Ham and Greg Bucker to their coaching staff, Stein believes that Milwaukee expects Celtics assistant Sam Cassell to remain in Boston. The Bucks were expected to make Cassell a lucrative offer to make him their lead assistant and reunite him with Doc Rivers, Stein reported in May.

Additionally, Cassell was also a reported candidate for the Lakers’ head coaching vacancy. However, ESPN analyst JJ Redick and Pelicans assistant James Borrego are reportedly the frontrunners for that gig after UConn’s Dan Hurley rejected an offer earlier in June.

Cassell joined Mazzulla’s staff last offseason. He spent the prior three seasons on Rivers’s staff with the 76ers. If Cassell does remain in Boston, he would presumably be the lead candidate to replace Lee as the Celtics’ lead assistant coach.





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