There’s a good chance Tyronn Lue will be a head coach again somewhere in the NBA next season. The former Cavaliers head coach is the lead assistant for Doc Rivers and the Clippers right now, but he’s been linked to the Brooklyn Nets and New Orleans Pelicans jobs already. Expect his name to come up when the Houston Rockets job opens up and if there is an opening in Philadelphia. Somebody is going to hire a guy who coached a team to three straight Finals and won a ring.
If Lue gets hired, he may bring Chauncey Billups along as an assistant, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Teams are aware that Lue has been talking with Chauncey Billups about joining his potential staff as an associate head coach, sources tell ESPN. Billups had been grooming himself for a top front-office role but turned down the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017, and his interest in leaving television for the team side has evolved from the front office to coaching, sources said.
Owners and executives had courted Billups because of his innate ability to lead men in the NBA, and a belief that his intelligence, instincts and work ethic would translate front office or coaching — however he decided to proceed.
Lue and Billups are good friends.
No team is going to hire Lue just because of Billups. Still, the possibility the veteran coach could bring along the sought-after newcomer is intriguing (Lue’s agent has to be happy with this story being out there). Especially to a team with star power that the coach needs to reach and motivate — Billups had a gift for that during his playing days.
Lue had a chance to coach the Lakers last year, but GM Rob Pelinka would only offer him a three-year contract and Lue believed his stature earned him a five-year deal (much more the standard among established NBA coaches). Lue is willing to wait it out for a job he thinks is a good one, and one where he will be treated fairly. That opportunity may come up this summer.