NBA Rumors: Brad Stevens to replace Danny Ainge in Celtics' front office

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Celtics making big changes the year after Sixers did the same originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Major changes are coming in the Boston Celtics' leadership.

Brad Stevens will transition from his role as Celtics head coach to become Boston's head of basketball operations, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Wednesday. Stevens will replace Danny Ainge, who plans to resign as Celtics president of basketball operations, per Charania. The Celtics later announced Ainge's stepping down and Stevens' new role. 

Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix reported earlier Wednesday that Ainge isn't expected to retire, so he may seek an NBA opportunity elsewhere.

As for Stevens, the 44-year-old will take his first front-office role after eight seasons as Boston's head coach.

The dynamic of the Sixers' long rivalry with the Celtics has shifted dramatically since Boston's first-round sweep last year in the NBA's bubble. Ben Simmons was sidelined for that series with a left knee injury.

This season, Boston was the team missing one of its stars in Round 1 of the playoffs. Jaylen Brown suffered a season-ending left wrist injury late in the regular season, and the No. 7 seed Celtics then lost in five games to the Nets. Boston reached the postseason by beating the Wizards in the play-in tournament.

Stevens was hired in 2013, the same year as Brett Brown. The Sixers were the franchise undergoing a big overhaul last offseason, firing Brown and hiring Doc Rivers as head coach. The team also brought on Daryl Morey as president of basketball operations. 

Stevens and the Celtics' front office will presumably aim to better complement Boston's stars, Brown and Jayson Tatum. Morey did something similar immediately with the Sixers by trading away Al Horford and Josh Richardson on his first draft night with the team, acquiring Seth Curry and Danny Green.