Mike D’Antoni, Chauncey Billups Among Blazers’ Top Candidates

Nets assistant Mike D’Antoni, Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups and Spurs assistant Becky Hammon are among the top candidates for the Trail Blazers’ coaching vacancy, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Spurs executive Brent Barry and South Carolina women’s coach Dawn Staley are also in the running, Charania reported.

Mike D'AntoniD’Antoni is reportedly also in the mix for openings with the Pacers and Celtics, and is said to be particularly interested in coaching Damian Lillard and the Blazers. He was coach of the Rockets from 2016-20 and is clearly the most established of the aforementioned names.

Hammon has spent seven seasons as Gregg Popovich‘s assistant with the Spurs and has made regular appearances on the summer interview circuit recently. She will also interview for the Magic’s vacancy, Charania reported.

Billups is in his first season as an assistant with Tyronn Lue and the Clippers. While Billups is a Lillard favorite, the star guard is not making any demands in the coaching search. But Lillard is in regular contact with team president Neil Olshey about the coaching search, The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported.

Neither Barry nor Staley have coached at the NBA level, and for that reason they are likely log shots — though there is some belief that Olshey may go with an outside-the-box decision.

The Blazers are looking to replace Terry Stotts, who mutually parted ways with the franchise after nine seasons and eight straight playoff appearances.

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