Trail Blazers news: Coach gets poached, lottery odds set, Lillard playoff comments

Portland has an assistant stolen and the NBA Draft lottery odds are now official.
May 16, 2023; Chicago, IL, USA; People walk past the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery board at McCormick Place
May 16, 2023; Chicago, IL, USA; People walk past the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery board at McCormick Place / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Here's the latest Trail Blazers news for April 23, including a member of Chauncey Billups' coaching staff being pilfered, Portland's final standings in the 2024 NBA Draft lottery odds and some interesting Damian Lillard playoff comments.

Trail Blazers land fourth-best odds at No. 1 pick

After the NBA took care of a series of tiebreakers, including one between Portland and the Charlotte Hornets, the order for the first round of the 2024 draft is set.

After finishing the season with identical records, the Blazers and Hornets were tied for the third-best odds at landing the No. 1 overall pick. Following the league's random tiebreaking procedures, Charlotte will head into the lottery with the third-best odds and Portland with the fourth.

While it may seem disappointing, the difference between the Hornets' chances at landing the top selection and the Blazers' is a whopping 0.1 percent, or one four-number combination out of the 1,000 the league will draw from.

Unless a lottery-night miracle happens and the Golden State Warriors' pick jumps from 14th into the top four (a 3.4 percent chance), Portland will own two lottery picks.

Assistant coach moves from Blazers to Nets

Sacramento Kings assistant Jordi Fernandez was hired as the Brooklyn Nets new head coach and he's taking a member of Billups' staff with him.

Steve Hetzel, who's been a Billups assistant since he took over in Portland, led the Blazers summer league team to the 2022 championship.

Damian Lillard doesn't miss Coachella

After going back-to-back seasons with no playoff appearances during his final two campaigns with the Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard is happy to be back in the postseason.

Lillard went old school on the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of the Milwaukee Bucks' opening-round series, scoring 35 points in the first half with some vintage Dame Time sprinkled in for good measure. After the win, he expressed his gratitude for being back under the bright lights:

"The last two years, not being in the playoffs, it sucked. Early vacations. Last year, I went to Coachella. I ain’t never been able to go to Coachella."

Damian Lillard


On behalf of Blazers fans - presumably even the ones going to Coachella - it's good to see Dame doing this again: