Celtics notebook

Jay Larranaga to become lead assistant coach

When Brad Stevens turns back to talk with his top assistant next season, it’ll be Jay Larranaga, not Ron Adams. Michael Perez/Associated Press
Michael Perez/Associated Press
When Brad Stevens turns back to talk with his top assistant next season, it’ll be Jay Larranaga, not Ron Adams.

WALTHAM — Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga will become the team’s new lead assistant to head coach Brad Stevens, league sources told the Globe Monday.

Larranaga fills the role previously held by veteran assistant Ron Adams, who recently left to join the Golden State Warriors and coach Steve Kerr’s staff in a similar position.

To help fill out the Celtics’ staff, Stevens will add Darren Erman as an assistant, the sources said.


Erman recently was named the Celtics’ director of NBA scouting after being fired by the Warriors in April for taping conversations with fellow members of the coaching staff without their knowledge.

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Erman also worked for the Celtics as an assistant coach for four seasons under Doc Rivers, including the team’s 2007-08 championship season.

It’s no surprise that Larranaga will be bumped up to lead assistant. He was a candidate for the Celtics’ head coaching position last summer after Rivers left to join the Los Angeles Clippers.

Stevens reiterated he was grateful Adams was with the team last season.

“He acted in the position that he thought he would, which was, he was really a great editor for me,” Stevens said after the team introduced its two first-round draft picks at its practice facility. “A guy that I’d come to with an idea and he’d say, ‘That may work, that may not work.’ He was great in that regard. The guys he worked with really liked him and he did a good job.”

Scout added


The Celtics recently hired Benas Matkevicius as their new international scout. Matkevicius previously worked as a scout for CSKA Moscow, a highly regarded professional team in Russia.

“Benas is a guy that we’ve liked,” said president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. “There’s been a couple guys over there that we really liked and targeted the last few years. We just weren’t able to get them, and we didn’t just want to hire anybody. He was a guy that we talked to for the last little while. We’re excited that he became available this summer.”

But Ainge also pointed out that the team has scouted foreign players closely for years, as did the previous Celtics staff in place before him.

“Before I got here, the Celtics’ staff with [former general manager] Chris Wallace, they knew everything about Tony Parker,” Ainge said. “They wanted to draft him and it was in our discussion to draft Tony Parker. The fact that we’re hiring an international scout doesn’t change our emphasis. Austin [Ainge] and Dave [Lewin] and myself, we go to international tournaments all summer. We know every one of these guys. I think there’s been one guy drafted in my 11 years that I didn’t know who they were.”

Austin Ainge is the Celtics’ director of player personnel, and Lewin is their director of scouting.


“But now maybe we can travel less, we have a guy who we can trust more,” Danny Ainge said.

Ready, set

At midnight July 1, the feeding frenzy begins, as teams officially can start negotiating with free agents.

Stevens compared it to something from his college days coaching Butler — midnight June 15, when college coaches were allowed under NCAA rules to contact players who have completed their sophomore year of high school.

“You call and you put your best foot forward, you have to be realistic in assessing your options and you go from there,” Stevens said.

Did he create a list of players back then when he coached at Butler? Yes, he said. A short one.

And now? Stevens wouldn’t say. He did say he’ll be making phone calls at the stroke of midnight, and it’s safe to assume that Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward, Stevens’s former star player at Butler, will be one of the first ones that Stevens contacts.

Stevens added that even though the team has been busy preparing for the draft in recent weeks, there have been many discussions about free agents.

“We talk about all that stuff every day,” he said. “Because it all fits together.”

Summer schedule

The Celtics will practice twice a day for three days before flying Friday morning to Orlando, where they’ll open summer league play Saturday against Miami at the Magic’s practice facility.

Baxter Holmes can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @BaxterHolmes.