SIXERS SIMMONS-FOR-LILLARD DEAL GAINS TRACTION IN PORTLAND

By Jerry Wein

It’s been a week since the Sixers washed out of the playoffs in the second round by losing game 7 to the Hawks.

A week of non-stop speculation about when Philly will finally give up believing that Ben Simmons will ever shoot the basketball and trade his sorry ass.

But now there is some meat on the bones of that buzz.

According to Chris Haynes at Yahoo:

There is a backlash in Portland about the Blazers’ process to hire a new coach and concerns on whether a championship contender can be built, and that may push their franchise player — Damian Lillard — out the door, Yahoo Sports is reporting.

Lillard has remained loyal to Portland in large part due to the tremendous fan base. But over the last few days, he’s seen some of those same fans attacking him on social media for a pending coaching hire he played no part in consummating, sources said.

Last night Portland named Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Chauncey Billups its next head coach.

The coaching search was conducted by Neil Olshey, the team’s president of basketball operations. None of the candidates who were interviewed were from suggestions from Lillard, sources said.

And although the All-NBA guard has a relationship with Billups as a coach, announcer and former player, he had no prior knowledge of the past sexual assault allegations against him from 1997.

 

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