Danny Ainge Open To “Right Role” With New Team

When Danny Ainge stepped down from his position as Boston’s president of basketball operations in June, the Celtics’ official statement indicated that he was “retiring” from his role with the franchise. However, reports at the time suggested Ainge likely wasn’t ready to retire from basketball altogether, and he confirmed as much this week in an interview with Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston.

“I’m not closing the book on other opportunities, but it’d have to be the right situation,” Ainge told Forsberg. “I’d have to be working with the right people in the right role. I don’t want to get back into 18-hour days. I don’t think that’s in anyone’s best interest, for that matter. But I know how much work it takes to be good at the job.

“At the same time, I have 40 years of experience in the NBA and I think I have a lot to offer some team that might see me as a helper to people in the organization. But yeah, just depending on what the role is.”

Ainge’s comments suggest he’s probably not prepared to take on another president of basketball operations job, given the commitment that position requires. And based on his résumé, it’s hard to imagine him taking on an assistant GM-type role. The most likely fit for Ainge might be as a senior advisor to a team’s head of basketball operations.

The Jazz and Trail Blazers have previously been cited as possibilities for Ainge. He’s close with Jazz owner Ryan Smith, and was born and raised in Oregon, having also spent a couple seasons in Portland as a player.

Both Northwest clubs have undergone some front office changes in the last year, with Justin Zanik replacing Dennis Lindsey as the head of basketball operations in Utah, while Neil Olshey was recently let go by the Blazers. However, it’s unclear whether either organization is eyeing Ainge as a candidate to be part of its revamped front office.

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