Report hints at Celtics' plans to finalize roster, coaching staff originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That appears to be the Boston Celtics' motto with less than a week to go before Opening Night.
The Celtics are "confident" in their current coaching staff and don't plan to add an outside assistant to join the staff of interim head coach Joe Mazzulla, The Boston Globe's Adam Himmelsbach reported Thursday.
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Boston has a vacancy on its staff after previous head coach Ime Udoka was suspended for the 2022-23 season, and the team explored hiring "several" assistant coaches, including former top Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga, to help the 34-year-old Mazzulla, per Himmelsbach.
Mazzulla and the current group appear to have the full support of the team, however.
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"He's got really good help on his staff," Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens said of Mazzulla earlier this offseason. "Damon Stoudamire and Ben Sullivan, those two guys are critical in my opinion, to Tony Dobbins, Aaron Miles, D.J. MacLeay. ... They're a really good group and they're going to need to pull together."
As for the roster, Boston is planning to keep things in-house, as well. Himmelsbach reports the final two spots on Boston's 15-man roster will "likely" be filled by players currently with the team.
Veteran forward Noah Vonleh is a strong candidate to fill one of those spots, per Himmelsbach. The Haverhill, Mass., native averaged 7.7 points and 8.3 rebounds over three preseason games, and the Celtics could use his presence on the glass with Robert Williams sidelined for the first two months of the season.
The top three candidates for the final roster spot are Mfiondu Kabengele, Justin Jackson and Jake Layman, according to Himmelsbach. Kabengele is already signed to a two-way contract, meaning he can play up to 50 regular-season games with Boston, so there's a good chance the C's keep him on that deal and give the final NBA-level slot to Jackson or Layman.
The Celtics appear to have built strong chemistry after a run to the 2022 NBA Finals, so it makes sense why they're not looking to add a high-profile veteran like Dwight Howard, for example. The team did sign six-time All-Star Blake Griffin, but the 33-year-old appears to be getting along very well with his new Celtics teammates.
Boston opens its 2022-23 campaign on Tuesday, Oct. 18 against the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden.