Reports: Chauncey Billups up for Pacers head-coaching job, Clippers assistant role
It’s not the big shot, but Chauncey Billups looks to be getting his first shot at coaching.
Billups, the Finals MVP of the Pistons team that won the 2004 NBA championship, has been looking to return to a team, either in the front office or as a head coach. It looks like he’ll get his chance.
Billups, 44, will become the lead assistant coach under Ty Lue, who will be the next head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. In recent years, Billups had served as a TV analyst with the Clippers, so he has familiarity with the current roster.
Lue was an assistant for the Clippers this season under Doc Rivers, who was fired after they were eliminated in the Western Conference semifinals. For much of the season, the Clippers were projected as a potential favorite to win the NBA championship, but squandered a 3-1 series lead to the Denver Nuggets.
There might be another big shot in play for Billups, though.
According to J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star, Billups still is in play to become head coach of the Indiana Pacers. The fact Billups agreed to join Lue’s staff doesn’t necessarily preclude him from taking the Pacers’ job, if it’s offered.
“A league source with direct knowledge of the situation told IndyStar that Billups, who has been a TV analyst for the Clippers, will join them on the bench ‘if he doesn’t get the Indy job.’” Michael wrote. “He's still a candidate to replace Nate McMillan, who was fired in August after a first-round playoff exit.”
Billups has expressed interest in having a job in a team’s front office, including an opportunity with the Cleveland Cavaliers a couple of years ago. He was considered for the Pistons’ openings as they’ve reshaped their front office after the departure of Stan Van Gundy and before bringing in current general manager Troy Weaver.
Michael notes that the Pacers’ likely timeline includes narrowing their field of candidates to a group of finalists and making a choice by the end of the month. The Pacers are considering former Memphis Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger — who reportedly accepted a spot as an assistant coach with Rivers, who was named coach of the Philadelphia 76ers — and New Orleans Pelicans assistant Chris Finch.