It looks like the Portland Trail Blazers are closing in on their next head coach. Reports suggest that the Blazers have narrowed down their options for the job opening with Chauncey Billups now considered to be the favorite to serve as the successor of Terry Stotts.
This report comes via ESPN’s NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski:
Chauncey Billups has emerged as the frontrunner to be offered the Portland Trail Blazers head coaching job, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 26, 2021
Billups, who is currently serving as an assistant to Tyronn Lue with the Los Angeles Clippers, has been one of the most sought-after names amid the myriad of coaching changes around the league. He was previously linked to the Boston Celtics before the Cs decided to hire Ime Udoka. Prior to the start of the 2020-21 season, Billups was also rumored to be on the radar of the Indiana Pacers before they signed Nate Bjorkgren.
Aside from Billups, San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon is also considered to be a frontrunner for the Blazers. It looks like Billups has the edge over Gregg Popovich’s long-time assistant, so at this point, it appears that the head coaching position in Portland is his to lose.
There’s no doubt that Blazers superstar Damian Lillard will have a huge say in his team’s coaching hire. It is highly likely that he’s given his endorsement to Billups, which has prompted the front office to move forward with discussions. There have been reports that Lillard has become “antsy” with his current situation in Portland, so the Blazers will need to do everything to ensure that their cornerstone star remains happy in Portland. Making the right hire for the head coaching post will definitely have a significant impact in this respect.
UPDATE: According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Blazers are officially hiring Chauncey Billups to be the team’s next head coach.
The Portland Trail Blazers are hiring Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups as their new head coach, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 26, 2021