THE Portland Trail Blazers have settled on Los Angeles Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups as their new coach but the deal has not been finalized, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Friday (Saturday, Manila time).
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the offer had not been formally announced. The Athletic reported that Billups had accepted the job but contract negotiations were ongoing.
Billups, the 2004 NBA Finals MVP and a five-time NBA All-Star over a 17-year playing career, has never been a head coach. The Blazers were also interested in Brooklyn Nets assistant Mike D'Antoni, as well as San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon.
Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd withdrew his name from consideration after it was reported that Blazers guard Damian Lillard had endorsed him for the job.
Billups, 44, was hired as an assistant under Clippers coach Tyronn Lue last November.
The Blazers parted ways with Terry Stotts shortly after the team was eliminated by the Denver Nuggets in the opening round of the playoffs.
Stotts coached the Blazers for nine seasons, taking them to the playoffs in the last eight. But Portland failed to advance past the first round in four of the last five years.
The 63-year-old Stotts was the NBA's fourth-longest tenured coach this past season, behind only San Antonio's Gregg Popovich, Miami's Erik Spoelstra and Dallas' Rick Carlisle. He went 402-318 in his nine regular seasons in Portland and led the Blazers to the Western Conference finals in 2019, where they were swept by Golden State.
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