The Indiana Pacers parted ways with head coach Nate McMillan following their playoff ouster at the hands of the Miami Heat. While McMillan won a whole lot of games in Nap Town, the team failed to make it out of the first round during his tenure, and as a result, the franchise is heading in a different direction.
The team is reportedly looking into a number of candidates for the position, whether they be highly-regarded assistants like San Antonio’s Becky Hammon and Philadelphia’s Ime Udoka or folks with head coaching experience like David Joerger and current Brooklyn assistant Jacque Vaughn. One interesting name that popped up on Wednesday evening, via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, is former title-winning guard Chauncey Billups, who is reportedly keen on entering the coaching ranks.
As the Pacers begin preliminary interviews with a number of candidates, Billups and team officials have recently engaged and are planning to talk further about the job, sources said Wednesday.
Clippers assistant Ty Lue has discussed with Billups the possibility of him joining Lue as his top assistant coach should he land a head-coaching job this offseason, sources said. But the Pacers present a unique opportunity for Billups, given that it’s not a job — unlike Philadelphia and New Orleans — for which Lue looms as a candidate.
Billups’ name has been floated for both coaching and front office jobs in the past, but nothing has ever come to fruition. He’s a respected name around the sport, and while there are obvious concerns that come with hiring any first-time coach to a role of this magnitude — especially with a team like Indiana that has expectations of making the postseason every year — Billups seems as well-equipped as any ex-player to move into this role.