Danny Ainge, Celtics
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Danny Ainge will now oversee basketball operations for the Utah Jazz

Last offseason, longtime Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge stepped down. Since then, Ainge has remained around the league but without any position within the Celtics’ front office.

On Wednesday, it all changed as the Utah Jazz announced it hired him to oversee the basketball operations.

“Rarely do you get an opportunity to come into a franchise that is this close to being a special team,” Ainge told ESPN, referring to the success of the Jazz, who had the NBA’s best record last season and are currently third in the Western Conference standings at 19-7. “It’s a very unique opportunity for all of those reasons.”

Ainge will not work closely with Jazz general manager Justin Zanik along with the ownership group that features Ryan Smith and Dwyane Wade. He previously served in the Celtics’ front office for 18 years, where he helped the team reach sustained success.

Under Ainge, Boston won the 2008 NBA title while reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in 2017, 2018, and 2020. The Jazz are hoping his presence can have a ripple effect in pushing the franchise forward toward championship contention.

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Utah has struggled to transition regular-season success into deep playoff runs. The Jazz have reached the playoffs in each of the last five seasons, including winning the 50-plus games three times and capturing the Northwest division title twice.

Utah is coming off capturing the top playoff spot in the Western Conference but bowed out in the second round in six games against the Los Angeles Clippers.

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