Report: Clippers hiring Tyronn Lue as head coach, Chauncey Billups as assistant

Clippers coach Tyronn Lue
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images
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Tyronn Lue had been favored for a while to become the Clippers’ next head coach.

But the Clippers still made a splash in hiring Lue – by naming former Pistons and Nuggets star/coaching novice Chauncey Billups an assistant.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Lue gets promoted with a team that has big stars, championship expectations and internal turmoil. Last time that happened, he won a championship with the Cavaliers.

With Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and several other capable veterans, the Clippers have potential to duplicate that success. But they must improve their chemistry.

Though he failed to deliver the desired playoff success, Doc Rivers did a lot right in L.A. Was coaching really the problem? How much will Lue help? Even though Lue has an excellent record, the Clippers are taking a big risk with this coaching change.

Reminder: Leonard and George can become unrestricted free agents in 2021. The pressure to flourish is immediate.

But with a five-year contract, Lue gets the security the Lakers didn’t offer last offseason. (That worked out well for them.) This also adds juice to the Clippers-Lakers rivalry.

Billups gets an opportunity to coach. This seemingly indicates he won’t get hired by the Pacers, though it’s always possible joining Lue’s staff is contingent on Indiana passing. Either way, Billups – who, like Lue, was a smart player with good communication skills – is on track to rise in coaching if he desires.

Larry Drew succeeded Lue in Cleveland, though in an odd saga.

This also might clear the way for the Rockets to hire Jeff Van Gundy, though Houston has also considered other candidates.