NBA Insiders Shams Charania and Adrian Wojnarowski have both broken news this morning that LA Clippers assistant and ex Detroit Pistons All-Star Chauncey Billups is the front runner for the Portland Trail Blazers head coaching position.
This won’t come as a surprise, as it was only a few days ago that Billups and San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon were named by Wojnarowski as the two candidates moving on to second interviews with the Blazers organization. The Blazers missed out on other candidates, unfortunately, but there are still quality hires left on the market like Hammon and Billups.
There are parts of the Blazers community who seem unhappy with the potential hire of Billups due to a previous off-court indiscretion in his playing days, but clearly, the Blazers organization seems to think that this isn’t an issue.
Billups resume as a player is strong, winning a title and Finals MVP in 2004 with the Pistons as their starting point guard. A five-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA member, and also a relationship as a player with President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey.
As a coach, he doesn’t have as much pedigree, which makes the hire even more interesting. Billups has only been on an NBA bench since 2020 when he was hired by Tyronn Lue to be part of the Clippers organization. Billups is still highly regarded in the league because of his high basketball IQ. He may not have the coaching experience, but he is respected by players and teams regardless.
Woj and Shams don’t miss on these reports often, so you can probably expect Billups to be named as head coach when the Clippers finish their playoff run.