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BOSTON - JUNE 10: A detail of the Boston Celtics logo as the Celtics get set to play against the Los Angeles Lakers during Game Four of the 2010 NBA Finals on June 10, 2010 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Celtics head coaching search could be in its final days. According to the Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy, the team has “‘three or four’ strong coaching candidates” it is considering for the job.

Murphy also adds that Rick Carlisle is not among that group. Carlisle was the long-time coach of the Mavericks – winning a title in Dallas in 2011 – but stepped down on Thursday. Before getting into coaching Carlisle had a six-year NBA career as a player, which began in Boston where he played from 1984 to 1987. Carlisle’s past success as a coach and previous connection to Boston led to some viewing him as a favorite for the job.

If Carlisle isn’t on Brad Stevens’ shortlist, who is? As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted shortly after Murphy’s report, Ime Udoka (Nets), Darvin Ham (Bucks), and Chauncey Billups (Clippers) are “among head coaching candidates who Boston hopes to interview for a second time.” Woj adds that the “Celtics’ search continues to focus in the assistant ranks.”

All three of those coaches are currently assistants with teams still alive in the NBA playoffs, which could contribute to dragging out the process. The Nets and Bucks will meet in a Game 7 on Saturday, while the Clippers have a chance to punch their ticket to the Western Conference Finals Friday night in Game 6 against the Jazz.

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.