Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard has already gone on the record regarding Terry Stotts’ potential replacement, and he favors two other former All-Star point guards.
Lillard told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports that he’d like to see Lakers assistant Jason Kidd get the job. Portland parted ways with Stotts, its nine-year head coach, on Friday night after the Blazers’ latest early playoff exit.
“Jason Kidd is the guy I want,” Lillard said.
Haynes reported shortly after the news broke of Stotts’ departure that Lillard would have significant input in the hiring process. Stotts has been his only head coach since he entered the league.
According to Haynes, Lillard and Kidd “have a great relationship” and Lillard has great respect for Kidd’s basketball acumen and knowledge, believing he could get the team to the next level.
In a story written by The Athletic’s Jason Quick and Shams Charania, Lillard added another name to the mix — Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups.
“I like J. Kidd and Chauncey,” Lillard said.
The Athletic story added that Dame prefers Kidd, mainly due to his head coaching experience, but that Portland’s front office is intrigued by Billups. It’s believed that the job will go to one or the other.
Kidd’s record as a head coach — one season with the Nets and three-plus seasons with the Bucks — is 183-190. He was fired by Milwaukee midway through the 2017/18 campaign. He’s been one of the Lakers’ top assistants under Frank Vogel the last two seasons.
Billups, the 2004 Finals MVP, joined Ty Lue’s staff after a stint with ESPN.
Billups, ABC broadcaster and former Rockets/Knicks head coach Jeff Van Gundy, former head coach and current Nets assistant Mike D’Antoni, and University of Michigan head coach and former Heat assistant Juwan Howard were named as potential candidates by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Blazers didn’t want to make a hasty decision on Stotts’ status but the 63-year-old coach and his agent wanted a quick resolution so that they could explore other opportunities, according to The Athletic. Stotts is believed to be a candidate for the Pacers job if they move on from Nate Bjorkgren.
Lillard heaped praise on Stotts and wished things had turned out differently.
“I feel down about it, because I’m not much a fan of change,” Lillard said. “And every memory of mine in this uniform includes him.”
However, there were increasing concerns about Stotts’ ability to connect with his players and make in-game adjustments.