Many around the league believe Chauncey Billups will land the Blazers’ head coaching gig, John Hollinger of The Athletic hears. Billups, who is also in the running for the Celtics head coaching position, is in his first season as an assistant with the Clippers under Tyronn Lue.
Billups isn’t the only candidate for the position. Mike D’Antoni is drawing interest from the Blazers in addition to the Magic and Celtics, per Jordan Schultz of ESPN.com. The Nets—currently up 2-0 in their series over the Bucks—will make D’Antoni, who previously served as head coach of the Rockets, Lakers, Knicks, Nuggets, and Suns, available for interviews following their playoff run.
GM Neil Olshey indicated that he expected to begin the interview process shortly but didn’t give an exact timeline for when a hire will be made.
”We’re running a very expansive, diverse search,” Olshey said. “We’ll probably have anywhere from 20 to 25 candidates in there with biographical data, background, intel, impact studies, coaching records, playing records, etc., so that we all are speaking the same language as we vet these candidates.
“I have not reached out to any teams or agents to request permission to conduct formal interviews until we’ve had a chance to review all those materials.”
Portland has an opening after letting go of long-time coach Terry Stotts this offseason. Stotts has since been linked to the Magic job and the Pacers are also considering him should they let go Nate Bjorkgren.
Blazers star Damian Lillard expressed his desire for Jason Kidd to get the position last week, though Kidd, who spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach on the Lakers, has since withdrawn his name from consideration.