Teams Monitoring Chauncey Billups’ Situation With Blazers

Teams around the NBA are monitoring Chauncey Billups‘ situation in Portland, league sources tell Chris Mannix of (Twitter link). Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report (Twitter link) says he’s heard similar rumblings within the past 24 hours.

According to Mannix, if the Trail Blazers and Billups were to part ways, the Hall of Famer would “quickly emerge” as a candidate for other jobs. Mannix doesn’t specify whether he’s referring to head coaching jobs, but it’s worth noting that the Wizards, Hornets, and Lakers currently have openings, and it’s possible the Suns – who will soon make a decision on Frank Vogel – could join them.

Since he took over for Terry Stotts in 2021, Billups has led the Blazers to an 81-165 (.329) regular season record, with no more than 33 wins in any season. Portland went 21-61 in 2023/24, the worst mark in the Western Conference. The club finished the season ranked 29th in offensive rating (107.6) and 23rd in defensive rating (116.6).

Still, those disappointing results can’t be entirely attributed to Billups. The Blazers have traded away several veteran starters since he was hired, including Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, among others. Additionally, Portland has had bad injury luck in recent years and has been without multiple key contributors in each season — in 2023/24, Scoot Henderson, Deandre Ayton, Jerami Grant, Anfernee Simons, Malcolm Brogdon, Shaedon Sharpe, and Robert Williams all missed at least 20 games.

Trail Blazers general manager Joe Cronin said last month during his end-of-season media session that the plan is to bring Billups back for the 2024/25 season. However, there are some reasons to suspect that plan may not be set in stone.

Since the regular season ended, Portland has lost one assistant and decided not to bring back two others, including Chauncey’s brother Rodney Billups. Additionally, Billups is entering the final guaranteed season of his contract – the Blazers hold a team option for 2025/26 – and has expressed a desire to win next season, while Cronin has talked about player development being more of a priority for the franchise in the short term.

As Highkin wrote for Rose Garden Report in April, it doesn’t sound as if Cronin is looking to make a coaching change, but Billups also seems unlikely to receive an extension from the Blazers before the fall, so he’ll be entering the 2024/25 season as something of a lame duck.

Teams are presumably keeping an eye on the situation to get a sense of whether Billups is unhappy and if there’s a scenario in which he and the Blazers decide to mutually part ways. There would likely be many clubs with interest in hiring him as an assistant, even if he’s not able to land another head coaching position right away. He spent one year as an assistant with the Clippers before ending up in Portland.

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