After the addition of former Celtic and longtime coaching assistant Sam Cassell to their staff, the Boston Celtics made another strong move by adding Charles Lee on Sunday. The signing comes on the heels of the Toronto Raptors hiring Darko Rajakovic as their new head coach, a position that Lee himself was vying for.
The report of Lee joining Boston comes from none other than ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, who tweeted that Lee had been a finalist for the Raptors job as well as the Detroit Pistons, who signed former Coach of the Year winner Monty Williams to a historic contract.
One interesting tidbit behind the signing is Lee will be tabbed as the lead assistant head coach, a position that many had assumed would be Sam Cassell's for the taking. Stephen Silas had long been expected to join the Celtics after being spotted and photographed with the team during their series with the Hawks, but Silas went on to take the head assistant gig under Williams in Detroit.
New: For the second straight week, the Celtics have added another widely respected assistant to their coaching staff in Charles Lee. More on the latest addition https://t.co/sO0yPCMdau— Brian Robb (@BrianTRobb) June 11, 2023
Lee, 38, spent four years playing overseas in Israel, Belgium and Germany before taking an assistant coaching position with Bucknell University before making a move to the NBA in 2014. Joining on with the Atlanta Hawks as an assistant, Lee stayed on as an assistant until 2018, when he left to join the Milwaukee Bucks. He would go on to win an NBA championship there in 2021, and had been promoted to associate head coach last season under Mike Budenholzer. In addition to Detroit and Toronto, Lee has previously been heavily considered for other head coaching positions in Atlanta and New Orleans as well.
After talking about bolstering the coaching staff behind Joe Mazzulla, President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens has kept his word by moving quickly to shore up the vacancies that had built up over the course of the past year. With Ime Udoka’s exit, Boston had moved Mazzulla to the interim, Will Hardy left for the head job in Utah, and Damon Stoudamire left for a head coaching position with Georgia Tech. What Boston was left with was the remnants of coaching staff that Ime Udoka himself had chosen, and the lack of strong coaching behind the rookie head coach was noticeable.
Credit to the Celtics for moving fast, and scooping up multiple strong candidates that bring their own set of experience and skills to bring the Celtics to another level. Here’s hoping for more news to come as the team continues to retool on all facets during the offseason.