Chauncey Billups is the current frontrunner for the Portland Trail Blazers’ head coaching position, according to reports from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and Shams Charania of the Athletic.
Update: 8:45 PM, Pacific
Shams Charania of The Athletic has tweeted that Billups has been offered the job and is the new hire.
Billups -- the 2004 NBA Finals MVP -- was offered the Trail Blazers job tonight and will be the new Portland coach. https://t.co/R05tXu0KLP— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 26, 2021
Supplement on timing from Dwight Jaynes of NBCSports NW
League source is telling me that Billups has verbally accepted the job, but the contract has yet to be negotiated. That is expected to be done this weekend. https://t.co/X24SKkgXaZ— Dwight Jaynes (@dwightjaynes) June 26, 2021
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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
Charania says that the Blazers are “locked in” and looking to complete a deal with Billups.
Drafted by the Boston Celtics, Billups played in the NBA for 17 seasons, primarily with the Detroit Pistons, Denver Nuggets, and the Los Angeles Clippers. He currently serves as an assistant coach for the Clippers, who hired him in November 2020.
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, star point guard Damian Lillard sat in on the interviews with Billups, and Lillard was “invested” in the search for a new coach. Billups’ name emerged as a potential candidate almost immediately following former head coach Terry Stotts’ departure, and Lillard said at the time that he favored Billups.
Reportedly, Mike D’Antoni of the Brooklyn Nets and Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Spurs also made it to the second round of interviews.
Wojnarowski has added that Billups met with Portland’s leadership, including franchise chair Jody Allen and President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey, in Seattle on Wednesday.
Billups has a long-standing relationship with franchise superstar Damian Lillard and the two have talked frequently throughout Portland’s search process, sources said.
Olshey’s history with Billups goes back to their time together with the Clippers from 2011 to 2013. As Clippers GM, Olshey claimed Billups after the Knicks amnestied him in 2011 — and had him on the team’s roster for two seasons. Olshey has long considered Billups one of the best leaders he has ever encountered in the NBA.