The Portland Trail Blazers are in on Chauncey Billups.
The Blazers announced Billups as their next head coach on Sunday. He'll be on a four-year guaranteed deal, league sources told Yahoo Sports senior NBA reporter Chris Haynes.
Yahoo Sources: Portland Trail Blazers reach agreement with Chauncey Billups on a four-and-one deal to be the franchise’s next head coach. Four years guaranteed and a team option on the fifth year.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 28, 2021
“Chauncey is a proven leader with an elite basketball IQ that has won everywhere he has been,” president of basketball operations Neil Olshey said in a statement. “He is prepared for the challenge of developing the championship habits and strategic approach we need to achieve the expectations and goals for our franchise.”
Billups, an assistant with the Los Angeles Clippers, will take over for Terry Stotts in Portland after his departure earlier this month.
Earlier Sunday, Haynes reported that Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard may be pushed out of Portland due to the coaching search process and the inability to build a title-contending roster.
From TV analyst to head coach in two seasons
Billups played in the league from 1997-2014. He was selected with the No. 3 overall pick in 1997 by the Boston Celtics. The 44-year-old also spent time with the Raptors, Nuggets, Timberwolves, Pistons, Knicks and Clippers before he retired in 2014.
The five-time All-Star, who helped lead the Pistons to a title in 2004, averaged 15.2 points and 5.4 assists per game throughout his career.
"I'm very excited and humbled to be the next coach of the Trail Blazers," Billups said in a statement. "Portland is a special place and a unique franchise. As a player I always loved playing here because the passion and knowledge of the fans brought out the very best in me as a competitor. Now I'm looking forward to being on the other side of that energy and engaging with the Portland community on a whole other level.”
Billups has served as an ESPN analyst before he joined the Clippers’ staff with head coach Ty Lue last year — which marked his first coaching job in the league. He was widely considered a top contender for the Portland job in recent weeks, along with Spurs assistant Becky Hammon and Jason Kidd — who reached a deal to take over with the Dallas Mavericks on Friday.
Stotts spent the last nine seasons leading the Trail Blazers. He compiled a 517-486 overall record there and reached the playoffs in all but his first season, but Portland was knocked out of the first round in four of the past five seasons. The two sides agreed to part ways after the Blazers fell to the Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs earlier this month.
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