The Portland Trail Blazers will be searching for a new head coach, and they’ll be consulting their star player as part of the process.
The Blazers parted ways with coach Terry Stotts on Friday after nine seasons. Notably, Stotts has been Damian Lillard's only NBA head coach, meaning this will be a significant change for the star guard.
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Lillard will have “major input” regarding the coach who replaces Stotts.
Source: Damian Lillard to have major input on the next head coach. Stotts was the only coach he’s played for in his nine seasons in the league. After the way the season ended, it was time for a change. https://t.co/opzDtX7LP3
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 5, 2021
Lillard is 30 years old and won’t want to waste his prime. He’ll want a coach who can turn the Blazers into winners quickly. What sort of traits he would want is unclear, but two reported targets include longtime NBA guard Chauncey Billups and ex-Suns and Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, who has overseen dominant seasons from Steve Nash and James Harden, among others.
There has been chatter that Portland executives had not been happy with the team defense played under Stotts. That might be a point of emphasis as part of the search, whether by Lillard or someone else.