3. Trail Blazers are a guard-heavy team
One of the biggest reasons it would behoove the Trail Blazers to keep Chauncey Billups in charge during the post-Damian Lillard period is the makeup of the roster that is being left behind by the perennial All-Star.
Portland has not been shy about the fact that Anfernee Simons is at the center of what they’re looking to do in the future. The slight two-guard will instantly become the team’s best player when Lillard moves on, and under Billups, the 24-year-old has shown strong signs of improvement. It is no coincidence that Simons had a massive leap in terms of production when Billups arrived.
The year before Billups’ arrival in Oregon, Simons played about 17 minutes a game and scored 7.8 points on 42 percent from the field. With Billups at the helm in 2021-22, Simons’ numbers spiked to 29 minutes a game and 17.3 points a game on 44 from the floor. The increased minutes Billups gave Simons allowed the youngster to flourish, thereby allowing the team to move disgruntled veteran CJ McCollum at the deadline.
Simons has a great shot for his first All-Star nod this year with the increased workload, but he’s not the only guard Billups will be tutoring. Last year’s lottery pick, Canadian shooting guard Shaedon Sharpe, should also be taking a big step forward this year.
Perhaps the player who will benefit the most from having Billups as a mentor is this year’s No. 2 overall pick, Scoot Henderson. Henderson possesses the athleticism that his head coach could only dream of, but if Chauncey can teach the 19-year-old how to combine his aggressive scoring abilities with more Billups-esque floor general qualities, the sky is the limit for him and Portland.