Rumor: Trail Blazers likely to hire Chauncey Billups as coach

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Trail Blazers president Neil Olshey just said he hadn’t yet reached out to coaching candidates.

But – like with many things Olshey said in his postseason press conferencepeople don’t believe him.

John Hollinger of Athletic:

league sources think Billups — currently a Clipper assistant — is the likely choice

Chauncey Billups came up as soon as Portland parted with Terry Stotts. With Jason Kidd out of the mix, Billups looks even more likely.

Billups checks many boxes. He was a smart player with strong emotional intelligence and leadership. After filling so many roles during his playing career – high draft pick, labeled a bust, out with long-term injury, journeyman, role player, star, veteran leader – he should should identify with the whole roster as a coach.

The biggest knock on Billups: lack of coaching experience. He just entered the profession after pursuing front-office jobs, spending the season under Clippers coach Tyronn Lue.

If the Trail Blazers want Billups, they might have competition from the Celtics.

Another team facing an identity crisis, Boston promoted coach Brad Stevens to president when Danny Ainge retired (retired?).

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Stevens started making calls on Wednesday to get the OK to talk to several candidates, including Billups, Milwaukee Bucks’ Darvin Ham and Charles Lee, Dallas Mavericks’ Jamahl Mosley and Brooklyn Nets’ Ime Udoka, sources told ESPN.

The Celtics’ list is expansive beyond these candidates

Stevens stepped down as Celtics coach to replace Danny Ainge running the Celtics’ front office and spent the first several days of his coaching search interviewing members of his former coaching staff, including Jay Larranaga, Jerome Allen, Scott Morrison and Joe Mazzulla, sources said.

Boston’s search appears to be more wide open than Portland’s – though Olshey does have an opportunity to interview a wide array of candidates and see where that goes.