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RUMOR: Damian Lillard, Blazers looking to steal Clippers, Spurs coaches

Damian Lillard, Blazers, Gregg Popovich, Tyronn Lue

The Portland Trail Blazers are closing in on their next head coach. According to reports, the team’s front office has narrowed down its search to five primary candidates. As it is, it looks like Damian Lillard’s next coach is going to come from either the Los Angeles Clippers, the San Antonio Spurs, or the Brooklyn Nets.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon leads the pack, with the long-time Gregg Popovich assistant looking to be the first female head coach in NBA history. Brent Barry, who currently serves as San Antonio’s vice president for basketball operations, also joins Hammon in the Blazers’ shortlist.

Clippers assistant coach Chauncey Billups has also been linked to the job opening in Portland so it comes to no surprise that he’s also going to be interviewed by the Blazers. Mike D’Antoni of the Nets is also a strong candidate for the head coaching post for the Blazers, and his wealth of experience is definitely going to be a key factor in the team’s decision. Finally, South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley rounds out the five-person shortlist.

It’s going to be a very interesting summer for the Blazers. There’s no doubt that Damian Lillard will have a significant say in who Portland ends up hiring. The Blazers will do everything in their power to keep Dame happy in Portland, and making the right hire for the head coaching post will be an undeniably pivotal step in this regard.