June 14, 2021 | 1:30 pm EDT Update
Adrian Wojnarowski: Brooklyn Nets assistant Mike D’Antoni is interviewing for the Portland Trail Blazers coaching job today, sources tell ESPN. Two more assistant coaches — the Clippers’ Chauncey Billups and the Spurs’ Becky Hammon — are set to interview with Portland early this week, too.
Portland general manager Neil Olshey, for example, told reporters his front office plans to meet with 20 to 25 candidates. However, league sources have long expected and continue to pinpoint Clippers assistant coach and former Finals MVP Chauncey Billups as the likely next head coach of Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers.
Team personnel contacted by B/R maintain that hiring a Black candidate is another top priority for the Celtics. If Boston can also land someone who has previous head coaching experience, that person would further meet the Celtics’ criteria, sources said. With that, Nate McMillan is an under-the-radar contender to become Boston’s 18th head coach in franchise history. All indications are that Atlanta will remove the interim tag from McMillan’s title and offer an extension, sources said. Yet until that deal is agreed upon, there remains a potential for McMillan to benefit from his successful stint guiding the Hawks through this postseason and test the market elsewhere.
Momentum had seemed to stall for Jason Kidd after he was originally linked to Boston and Lillard went on record vouching for him in Portland, but the Lakers assistant’s name has surfaced more and more in conversations about Orlando’s opening. League sources have cited a connection to Magic general manager John Hammond, who hired Kidd to coach Milwaukee back in 2014.
Or perhaps the Magic go with a first-time head coach like Udoka, who league sources have strongly linked to this opening as well. Although there is a belief that Udoka has a greater interest in joining Boston. Jarron Collins, one of three player development-leaning coaches dismissed as part of a shakeup with Golden State’s staff, has already had conversations with Orlando too, sources said.