Soon after Dallas moved to hire the candidate that Portland star Damian Lillard went out on a limb to talk up in the media, the Trail Blazers seem to have responded by becoming more aggressive in their courtship of Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups.
Initially after Portland decided to part ways with Terry Stotts shortly after their first-round loss to the Nuggets, Lillard made it known that he wanted Kidd to replace Stotts. However, Kidd would soon drop out of the running, leaving the Trail Blazers without a clear frontrunner, though Lillard had also named Billups as someone he’d like. According to a new report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, along with Sam Amick and Shams Charania of The Athletic, all that changed late Friday when Billups became the lead candidate for the job.
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
The Portland Trail Blazers are locked in on Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups as their new head coach and are hopeful to finalize a deal, sources tell me and @sam_amick.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 26, 2021
Billups brings little coaching experience but enormous pedigree as the 2004 NBA Finals MVP. He was previously a serious candidate to run the Cavaliers’ front office as well as for a head coaching job in Indiana before taking a gig as an assistant on Tyronn Lue’s Clippers staff, where he is currently a key voice on a stacked staff for a conference finalist team.
Much is still expected to be explored in Portland, including the viability of the Lillard-CJ McCollum backcourt and looming free agency decisions on Zach Collins and Norman Powell.