New Lakers Head Coach Candidate On the Verge of Becoming Available

A new head coach candidate might be emerging for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Since moving on from Darvin Ham following the first-round loss to the Denver Nuggets in the playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers have been desperately looking for their next head coach. There are plenty of candidates being linked to the Lakers by the media and it seems like the speculation is not going to end any time soon.

One factor that will cause increased speculation will be the fact that more coaches will lose their jobs in the upcoming weeks. Teams who disappoint in the playoffs, as well as rebuilding teams deciding to move on, will push more qualified head coaches onto the market.

As one of the most attractive jobs in the NBA, the Lakers will automatically be on the shortlist of every available head coach. This certainly includes future Hall-of-Famer Chauncey Billups, who is reportedly on the hot seat in Portland.

Potential Lakers Target Chauncey Billups May Be Available Soon

Billups was hired by the Portland Trail Blazers in 2021 after an illustrious career that saw him make five All-Star teams and win an NBA championship. However, his time in Portland has largely been disappointing.

The Trail Blazers missed the playoffs for three straight seasons under Billups, posting an 81-165 record.

Since trading Damian Lillard last offseason, the Trail Blazers have been in complete rebuild. According to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, "teams are monitoring" the Billups situation, and a split might be looming.

Mannix adds that Billups would "quickly emerge as a candidate for other jobs". Considering that the Lakers are one of the only head coaching vacancies in the league, there is a decent chance he is referring to Los Angeles.

Obviously, everything related to the Lakers depends on LeBron James. First, he needs to commit to the Lakers. Then, he will almost certainly play a huge role in who the next head coach will be.

LeBron presumably has a ton of respect for Billups from his playing days. The Detroit Pistons, led by Billups, were one of the biggest rivals of the LeBron-led Cleveland teams early in his career. If James approves of a potential Billups hire, the two could be on the same side for the first time in their incredible careers.

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