Sources: Prominent member of Celtics organization wanted to fire Brad Stevens during regular season

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Brad Stevens gestures during Celtics' Game 5 loss to Nets
Brad Stevens gestures during Celtics' Game 5 loss to Nets

Danny Ainge is retiring as president of basketball operations in Boston, while Brad Stevens is now transitioning from head coach to the new head of basketball operations, the team officially announced on Wednesday.

ESPN first reported that Ainge was seriously considering stepping down.

It’s worth noting that, at one point in the regular season, a prominent member of the Celtics organization wanted to fire Stevens immediately, per SNY sources familiar with the matter.

Ainge was among those in the organization who were against the decision, sources say. Clearly, the organization ultimately sided with Ainge at the time and kept Stevens.

Ainge hired Stevens in 2013 and has remained loyal to him. The Celtics at one point looked like one of the top young teams in the league. But Boston hasn’t met expectations over the last two seasons, in part due to injury (for more background on Boston, check out this article).

If Ainge steps down, will the next team president be as loyal?

That’s one of the many storylines to keep an eye on in Boston.

Another Celtics note: Evan Fournier is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The Knicks had conversations with Orlando prior to the trade deadline about acquiring Fournier. Boston ultimately traded for him. If Ainge steps down, is Boston less willing to re-sign Fournier?

Tom Thibodeau recently credited the Hawks for surrounding Trae Young with solid shooters. He didn’t come out and say that the Knicks needed more shooting. But it’s easy to make the connection between his comments about Atlanta and how he values shooting.

Given the Knicks’ past interest in Fournier, they could be among the suitors for him this offseason.