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Celtics sign coach Brad Stevens to contract extension

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Boston Celtics have signed coach Brad Stevens to a contract extension, the team announced Wednesday.

"Brad is one of the most intelligent and hard-working coaches in the game today," Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said in a statement. "More importantly, his character and integrity have contributed to a culture that we all highly value here. Brad is a great teammate, and a leader people want to follow. We are honored to have him with us as we continue to pursue our next championship."

Stevens, 43, has been with the Celtics for seven seasons since Ainge shocked the basketball world and hired him away from Butler University in July 2013.

Entering Thursday's final seeding game against the Washington Wizards, Stevens has a record of 318-245 (.565) over those seven seasons in Boston, placing him fourth on the franchise's all-time wins list behind Red Auerbach, Tommy Heinsohn and Doc Rivers.

After missing the playoffs in his first season with the team -- as Boston began to rebuild after the massive trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets for a bevy of future draft assets -- the Celtics have made the playoffs each of the past six seasons, and will be the third seed in the Eastern Conference when the NBA playoffs begin Monday.

Boston's trips to the conference finals in 2017 and '18 were the first time since the days of Larry Bird -- the 1987 and '88 seasons -- that the team reached the penultimate round of the playoffs in consecutive seasons.

Stevens and the Celtics are positioned to be a factor in the East for years to come with rising wings Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, who made the All-Star team for the first time this season.