The Portland Trail Blazers have reached a five-year agreement to hire current LA Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups as their new coach, sources told ESPN.
Billups, 44, will be introduced Tuesday at a press conference in Portland.
The deal includes a team option for the fifth season, sources said.
Neil Olshey, the Blazers ‘president of sports, and Billups’ agent, Andy Miller of Klutch Sports, finalized the terms of the contract Sunday. The Blazers offered Billups the job Friday night after both parties had made progress on a deal to replace Terry Stotts.
Billups’ signing sets the direction for the Blazers as they attempt to maximize the best years of guard Damian Lillard’s career by leading the team further into the Western Conference Playoffs. Portland advanced to two conference semifinals and a West final in the Lillard-Stotts era.
After Blazers president Jody Allen and Olshey met with Billups in Seattle last Wednesday, they were convinced he was the right candidate, sources reported.
Before making a formal offer Friday night, the Blazers continued their investigation into a 1997 sexual assault incident involving Billups. No formal charges were filed, but a civil case was settled.
Although Billups had been vetted for several high-level NBA jobs, including an offer to become the Cleveland Cavaliers’ president of sports in 2017 and his current role with the Clippers, the Blazers used a lot of the search process to review the allegations. of Billups’ rookie season in the league.
Billups encouraged the team to examine the case, the sources said, and his responses in various conversations with Blazers officials were aligned with findings from an independent investigation. In the end, the Blazers found nothing they considered to disqualify Billups from becoming the franchise’s new coach.
The Clippers credit Billups for his success in working with Paul George to improve his skills this season. Olshey’s history with Billups began several years ago, when they worked together with the Clippers in the 2011-12 season.
Olshey has long regarded Billups as one of the best leaders he has known in the NBA and that relationship, along with support for Lillard’s decision, played a large role in his choice for the Portland job over others. job opportunities, the sources assured.