1. Chauncey Billups
Perhaps the most popular assistant coach in this summer’s NBA coaching carousel is former player Chauncey Billups, who joined Tyronn Lue’s coaching staff on the Clippers. Even though he has been with the team for just one year, he has already made an important impact on the team by bringing the best out of star Paul George.
The Clippers looked dead to rights in the second round after hearing the news that Kawhi Leonard was out indefinitely due to a right knee sprain. That was no issue at all for George, who shed his “Pandemic P” moniker and finally became “Playoff P” when the Clippers needed him most. And George himself credited Billups himself for his recent success.
In Game 5 against the Utah Jazz, George scored 37 points (12-for-22 from the field, 3-for-9 from the 3-point line), grabbed 16 rebounds and recorded 5 assists in the 119-111 win. Then in Game 6 on Friday, George tallied 28 points (10-for-24 from field), nine rebounds and seven assists in the 131-119 comeback victory to help the Clippers advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first-time in franchise history.
If Billups can help George show up and live up to expectations in just one year as an NBA assistant coach, just imagine what he can do leading a squad with Zion Williamson? Much like Carlisle, the Pelicans may have to enter a bidding war to land Billups.