News dropped this month that Danny Ainge is stepping down from his role as President of Basketball Operations with the Boston Celtics.
Breaking: Danny Ainge is expected to step down as President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics, sources tell @wojespn.
Brad Stevens is moving into the front office on a full-time role and the Celtics are expected to start a search for a new head coach, per sources. pic.twitter.com/NmMcFm8CiC
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 2, 2021
This came as a surprise to a lot of us, as he has been with the franchise for almost two decades.
Ainge has hinted at retirement.
However, that might not be the case for long.
Ainge has been in the NBA since 1981.
He has been a player, coach, and executive in this league.
Granted, he has had some major health problems as of late and is in his 60s.
The issue is that Ainge loves the game too much to let go.
He has been with the Celtics organization for such a long time that maybe he just needs a fresh start.
Maybe retirement isn’t what he needs.
He possibly just needs a new challenge and a different environment.
The Celtics position has come with criticism over the last few years and that can take a toll on someone.
He has been questioned at every turn and it is time for a new chapter.
These three team should call Ainge and see if he can come work for their organization.
3. Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers are somewhat stuck.
They are in the middle-ground of the NBA.
That is being close to the playoffs, but also being close to the end of the lottery.
Now with no head coach, we might see a change with the front office.
Kevin Pritchard is the current President of the Pacers.
This occurred when Larry Bird stepped down a few years ago.
However, the Pacers have not advanced past the first round of the playoffs since.
Maybe it is time for a change.
Bird is still with the team in a small role as a consultant.
He played with Ainge on those great Celtics teams of the 80s.
Perhaps Bird can convince the Pacers owner to head in a new direction and hire his friend to replace Pritchard.
2. Portland Trail Blazers
Ainge was born and raised in Oregon.
It might be time for him to come home.
The Trail Blazers are heading in a new direction.
Terry Stotts is gone as head coach after nine seasons with the organization.
Now the decision needs to be made if Neil Olshey can handle the job as GM of the Trail Blazers.
Maybe he doesn’t need to go, but maybe he needs someone else to help him make decisions.
Ainge is not afraid to trade key pieces in order to get better ones.
That is somewhat of a problem with this franchise.
Olshey has heard rumors as to when will the Trail Blazers try and do something different.
It never comes.
Ainge being there would hopefully help with making the tough moves that seem to never happen under Olshey.
1. Utah Jazz
Ainge’s home after Oregon was Utah.
In fact, he and a couple of his sons played for BYU.
Ainge and his family are also members of the Mormon Church.
He and his family have several connections with the state of Utah.
He also has a connection with members of the Utah Jazz organization.
As Danny Ainge moves on from Boston, a possible landing spot, in some capacity: The Utah Jazz. As rumors of Ainge's exit rippled through the NBA in recent months, a role with the Jazz has been seen as a potential next step.
— Chris Mannix (@SIChrisMannix) June 2, 2021
The Jazz do not need him in a major role either.
They are the number one seed in the NBA and have a great chance of making the NBA Finals.
However, Ainge may want to live in Utah.
So why not hire him as another voice for the franchise?
Having Ainge as a consultant for the team would be a best case scenario for both parties.