The Portland Trail Blazers closed the book on the Terry Stotts era after failing to make it out of the first round of the playoffs this postseason. Stotts, who coached the Blazers since 2012, managed to help Portland make it to the postseason in eight out of the nine seasons he coached.
Unfortunately, the Blazers only made it to the Western Conference Finals once, and over the last two years, Portland was knocked out of the first round. Following Portland's second-straight playoff failure, Stotts and the Blazers parted ways.
For the last few weeks, Portland has considered a handful of candidates. Among those candidates are Brooklyn Nets assistant coach Mike D'Antoni, San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon, and Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Chauncey Billups.
Each coach mentioned above was a key candidate in other head coaching vacancies last season. Obviously, all three either remained assistants or landed new jobs as assistants. However, that could change for one of these candidates soon as the Blazers are reportedly looking for a follow-up with two of the three mentioned.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Blazers are interested in conducting a second meeting with both Billups and Hammon. As more head coaching jobs become available in the NBA, Portland likely wants to find Stotts' replacement sooner than later. Therefore, they'll conduct second interviews sometime this week.
While Billups has garnered serious interest from other organizations, specifically the Boston Celtics, who've also requested a second interview, Becky Hammon is considered a finalist for the Blazers job specifically, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
There are still several other prospects on Portland's radar. Still, as time winds down and the follow-up meetings get scheduled, it seems Billups and Hammon are two very serious candidates to land the Portland head coaching job for next season and beyond.