Despite overseeing a losing season, Portland Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups is practicing patience with his team and says they are not in rebuild mode.
“I’ve coached like three or four different teams this year,” Billups told Yahoo Sports following the Blazers’ 119-115 win at Little Caesars Arena on Monday.
“It’s happened the way it’s supposed to because I’ve learned so damn much. From the start of the season, coaching vets to coaching kids, trying to close games out. This experience this year will set me up to have a hopefully great coaching career.”
By the time Lillard returned for a nine-game stretch following rehab on his abdomen, McCollum was on the IR.
A few weeks later, Robert Covington and Norman Powell were traded to the Clippers, followed by McCollum being shipped to New Orleans.
Their trades were the start of a flurry of activity from interim general manager Joe Cronin, appointed in the wake of Neil Olshey’s ouster following accusations of workplace misconduct.
There are signs for a quicker turnaround, or at least the effort to right the ship quickly.
Swingman Josh Hart, who was acquired in the McCollum package, is averaging 20 points on 50% shooting in 15 games, while Anfernee Simons should be in the Most Improved Player conversation, averaging 17.3 points on splits of 44-40-88 with increased opportunities
“This is not a rebuild at all,” Billups said. “Retool. We’ll take a few small steps back, develop some young guys, then boom, free agency and the draft.”
So, despite the unexpected developments, Billups is excited about the future, learning and growing with the possibilities.
If nothing else, he’s prepared for the unexpected.
Chauncey Billups and the Blazers currently sit at 27-44, good for 12th in the Western Conference.