NBA Rumors: Celtics eyed Sam Presti before Brad Stevens promotion

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Report: C's considered this GM before Brad Stevens promotion originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics wasted no time shaking things up following Tuesday night's season-ending loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

Not even 24 hours later, the Celtics announced Danny Ainge will retire from his role as president of basketball operations and Brad Stevens will take over, leaving a void at the C's head coaching position. It was a quick decision by Boston's brass, but the organization apparently explored a few other options for Ainge's replacement before committing to Stevens.

Celtics Talk Podcast: Offseason chaos; exclusive interviews with Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens | Listen & subscribe | Watch on YouTube

According to The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor, the Celtics considered other internal candidates as well as Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti.

"Before hiring Stevens, league sources say Celtics ownership considered other internal candidates and even pondered pursuing Sam Presti, a native of Massachusetts who has run the Thunder since they were still the Sonics. Presti is a proven front-office boss who steered a small-market team to great success through savvy acquisitions and wise draft picks. Stevens has no front-office experience, and has only been in the NBA since 2013, when the Celtics plucked him out of Butler."

Presti, who hails from Concord, Mass., has served as a GM for the Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder franchise since 2007. The 43-year-old has made a number of notable moves during his time in the front office including his first deal, which sent Hall of Famer Ray Allen to the Celtics. In 2019, Presti was responsbile for trading Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers and Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets. He placed second in NBA Executive of the Year voting that season.

While Presti certainly had the qualifications, the Celtics ultimately valued Stevens' familiarity with the organization. Now, the big question is who will the former C's head coach choose as his replacement?