Damian Lillard’s top preference to become the next head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers is Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd.
“Jason Kidd is the guy I want,” Lillard told Yahoo Sports on Friday night.
Lillard intends to have significant input on the next hire, sources said.
The Trail Blazers and Terry Stotts parted ways on Friday, opening up a coaching vacancy that has been occupied for nine seasons. The move was proceeded by a first-round exit issued by a depleted Denver Nuggets squad.
The 30-year-old superstar is fixated on competing for a championship and is expected to be more vocal with his requests moving forward, sources said.
Kidd, a Hall of Fame point guard, is a fellow Oakland native.
The two have a great relationship that goes back years. Lillard genuinely respects Kidd’s basketball acumen and knowledge of the game and believes he can help take his game and the team to the next level, sources said.
The Lakers’ front office has raved about Kidd, expressing how he’s been a phenomenal presence in the organization from his innovative ideas to his communicating skills and his ability to rally the troops, sources said.
Kidd was previously a head coach in Brooklyn and Milwaukee.
ESPN reported that longtime NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy, Brooklyn Nets assistant Mike D’Antoni, Michigan head coach Juwan Howard and Los Angeles Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups will be considered for the job.
Lillard has a good relationship with Billups, but his preference is Kidd.
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