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Chauncey Billups in negotiations to be next Trail Blazers coach

Chauncey Billups watches an NBA game from the sideline.
Chauncey Billups, the first-year Clippers assistant coach, is the leading candidate to take over in Portland.
(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Chauncey Billups, the first-year assistant coach with the Clippers, has emerged as the candidate the Portland Trail Blazers have identified to be their next head coach, according to people not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Billups’ representatives and Neil Olshey, the president of basketball operations for the Trail Blazers, have been having contract discussions about Billups replacing recently fired Terry Stotts as coach, according to the people with knowledge of the situation. The two sides are continuing to work on a deal, but nothing has been signed yet.

Billups, 44, and Portland’s Damian Lillard have exchanged texts a few times throughout the process. But according to one person, Lillard has nothing to do with Portland’s coaching search or the decision on who would be hired.

Billups and Olshey have a relationship from their days with the Clippers, when Olshey was the team’s general manager and he was able to claim Billups in 2011 after the New York Knicks had waived the point guard under the amnesty clause.

Though Billups has been an assistant coach for just one season, he has been considered a top candidate to be a head coach because of his knowledge of the game and demeanor as a player.

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Billups, who was a five-time All-Star, won an NBA championship with the Detroit Pistons in 2004.

Paul George once again misses a late, critical free throw as the Clippers lose 84-80 to the Phoenix Suns. The Clippers trail the series, 3-1.


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