Boston Celtics

Celtics assistant among Lakers' top head coach targets: Report

The Celtics might end up losing both of their top assistant coaches this summer.

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The Boston Celtics brought in two highly-qualified, experienced assistant coaches last offseason. There's a chance they could lose both this summer.

Celtics assistant Sam Cassell is one of the Los Angeles Lakers' three "initial leading targets" in their head coach search along with former NBA player JJ Redick and New Orleans Pelicans assistant coach James Borrego, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Tuesday.

A three-time NBA champion as a player who was part of the Celtics' 2008 title team, Cassell joined the Celtics last June as an assistant coach under Joe Mazzulla after spending the previous three seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Cassell and Celtics lead assistant Charles Lee -- who was hired a week after Cassell last June -- provided an injection of leadership and experience on Mazzulla's staff in his second season as Boston's head coach. Lee accepted the Charlotte Hornets' head coach job last week, however, and now it appears Cassell could be on the move this summer as well.

Los Angeles would be a fascinating destination for Cassell, especially considering LeBron James' uncertain future: The Lakers star has a player option for the 2024-25 season and could opt out to pursue free agency.

Mazzulla said last week he plans to hire from within to replace Lee, and if Cassell departs as well, that could mean added responsibility for assistant Tony Dobbins, who has been with Boston since 2020.

In the meantime, though, Lee and Cassell are both still on the Celtics staff and focused on getting their team over the championship hump. The C's have the opportunity to advance to their sixth Eastern Conference Finals in eight years if they defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of their second-round series on Wednesday night at TD Garden.

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