Becky Hammon has already interviewed, and so has Mike D'Antoni. The Trail Blazers reportedly have legitimate interest in Dawn Staley and Brent Barry, too. Portland should absolutely pick up the phone and call Rick Carlisle.

But the more the NBA's coaching carousel spins, the more likely it appears that the Blazers are zeroing in on the coach long rumored as the franchise's top target.

In a story about Chauncey Billups receiving a second interview for the Boston Celtics' coaching vacancy, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski noted that the five-time All-Star remains a "prominent candidate" in Portland's coaching search.

Billups is a prominent candidate in the Blazers' search, sources said.

On Tuesday, Jeff Zillgitt and Mark Medina of USA TODAY reported that Billups is an "early favorite" to be Terry Stotts' successor with the Blazers.

There is the belief among insiders that Billups, who played point guard, is an early favorite.

Further intel of Billups standing apart from Portland's pack of coaching candidates comes as no surprise. 

He's been rumored to potentially take the reins in Portland since April, and already has the pre-approval of Damian Lillard. Billups also has an existing relationship with Blazers general manager Neil Olshey, who acquired the 2004 NBA Finals MVP as general manager of the LA Clippers in 2011-12.

Like Portland, Boston has already had an initial interview with Billups. ESPN reports that he's going back for a second interview with the Celtics, who will also be conducting follow-ups with Brooklyn Nets assistant Ime Udoka – a Portland native who's been conspicuously absent from any reporting about the Blazers' job – and Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham. 

Billups, broadly considered one of the top available coaching candidates on the market, is a rookie assistant under Ty Lue with the LA Clippers. He was accused of rape in 1997, later settling a civil lawsuit filed against him by his alleged victim.

[Adrian Wojnarowski, ESPN] [Jeff Zillgitt and Mark Medina, USA TODAY]

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