A new era in Portland is about to begin.
After it was officially announced on June 4th that the Trail Blazers and Terry Stotts mutually agreed to part ways, the search began for the Blazers next head coach.
While many names were thrown out as potential candidates, it was one of the very first candidates that was ever linked to the Blazers who is reportedly set to become Portland’s 15th head coach in franchise history.
The Trail Blazers have hired Chauncey Billups to fill their open head coaching vacancy, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
League source tells NBCSNW Blazers Insider Dwight Jaynes that Billups has verbally accepted the job, but the contract has yet to be negotiated. That is expected to be done this weekend.
Friday evening, Adrian Wojnarowski reported Billups had "emerged as the front runner to be offered" the head coaching job.
Billups was among the candidates that the Blazers gave second interviews to which also included Mike D'Antoni and Becky Hammon.
But he was also one of the very first mentioned as a replacement for Stotts. Not to mention, the face of the franchise Damian Lillard had said he wanted Billups in Portland.
“I like J. Kidd and Chauncey.”
As a 17-year NBA veteran, Billups has been talked about as becoming a head coach in recent years, especially after he was hired on as an assistant in Nov. of 2020 under Ty Lue on the Los Angeles Clippers coaching staff.
Billups is also a guy who’s respected for his leadership skills.
And is the one the Blazers believe will right the ship on the defensive end and hold the team accountable.
Here's a quick breakdown of Billups' top accolades and other NBA career notes:
- NBA Champion with the Pistons in 2004
- NBA Finals MVP in 2004
- Five-time NBA All-Star (2006-2010)
- Two-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2005 and 2006
- All-NBA Second-Team in 2006
- Two-time All-NBA Third Team in 2007 and 2009
- Earned the NBA Sportsmanship Award in 2009
- Was NBA Teammate of the Year in 2013
- Billups played in 1,043 career games averaging 15.2 points, 5.4 assists, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.0 steals per game
- Earned the nickname "Mr. Big Shot" for his late-game heroics
And with Lillard’s game often compared to that of Billups, now the two will get set to work together.