Celtics coaching rumors: Chauncey Billups draws Blazers' interest

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Report: Blazers keen on Celtics HC target Chauncey Billups originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics need a new head coach, but they won't be searching in a vacuum.

The Portland Trail Blazers and Orlando Magic both parted ways with their head coaches (Terry Stotts and Steve Clifford) in the last 24 hours and likely will consider several of the same coaching candidates expected to be on Boston's radar.

Apparently that's already the case: Blazers guard Damian Lillard told The Athletic's Jason Quick and Shams Charania he likes Jason Kidd and Chauncey Billups as potential replacements for Stotts, and Portland reportedly plans to honor its star's wishes.

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"It is believed the Trail Blazers will ultimately decide between Kidd and Billups" to be the team's next head coach, Quick and Charania wrote Saturday.

Kidd and Billups both were reported as expected candidates for the Celtics' job, which opened when Brad Stevens took over for the retiring Danny Ainge as president of basketball operations.

Billups left ESPN last November to join the Los Angeles Clippers as an assistant coach and is a rising star in the coaching world. As a relatively young former player who was drafted by Boston in 1997, the 44-year-old could be a strong fit for a Celtics team seeking a fresh voice after failing to get over the hump with Stevens as head coach.

The 48-year-old Kidd boasts a similar resume but with additional experience as a head coach with the Brooklyn Nets (2013-14) and Milwaukee Bucks (2014-2018).

Celtics fans who would rather have Billups than Kidd and his sub-.500 coaching record (183-190) may be encouraged to hear that Lillard prefers Kidd due to his head coaching experience and status as a fellow Bay Area native, per The Athletic.

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Quick and Charania report the Blazers are "intrigued" by Billups, however, and if other teams part ways with their head coaches, Boston and Portland could have more competition for the former All-Star guard.

Teams can't contact Billups until his Clippers are out of the postseason, so if Los Angeles defeats the Dallas Mavericks in Game 7 on Sunday, we'll have to wait a few more weeks to see where Billups lands.