Celtics Had Strong Interest In Juwan Howard Last Offseason

Juwan Howard, Boston Celtics, NBA Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Boston Celtics have to be happy about how things have gone this season. After so many years of being unable to get over the hump, they are back in the NBA Finals, facing off with the Golden State Warriors.

It was not an easy path that Boston took to this, as they were a middling .500 team in January after blowing a 25-point lead to the New York Knicks. But, since that time, they turned things around, putting up the best record in the NBA and finishing the season on a 41-10 run.

That helped them lock down the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, which ended up putting them through the gauntlet. They had to defeat the Brooklyn Nets, defending champion Milwaukee Bucks and No. 1 seeded Miami Heat to earn the right to face the Warriors in the NBA Finals.

A lot of credit needs to go to Brad Stevens in the front office, who surprisingly stepped down as head coach last offseason to take over as general manager. It has proven to be the correct move, as Steven pushed all of the right buttons and it has resulted in an excellent season.

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His hiring of Ime Udoka to become head coach has paid dividends, as Udoka has been unflappable despite this being his first head coaching job. However, the Celtics were not far from going in a different direction as head coach.

According to Marc Stein on his Substack, Stevens had a lot of interest in trying to pry Juwan Howard away from his alma mater as head coach of the Michigan men’s basketball team. It was another chapter in the rivalry between the Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, as the purple and gold were pursuing him as well.

“It has likewise emerged that new Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens had strong interest in Howard last summer when Stevens abruptly stepped away from the Celtics’ bench to replace Danny Ainge as the head of Boston’s front office.”

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While Stevens and his staff may have been disappointed at first about not landing Juwan Howard, they have to be happy about how things have turned out. After an adjustment period, the Celtics have looked great under Udoka and should be contenders for years to come.