Tyronn Lue will likely be a commodity on the coaching market this year as clubs like the New Orleans Pelicans and Chicago Bulls look for their next leader.
Behind the scenes, the former Cleveland Cavaliers coach is reportedly laying groundwork for his next staff should he get hired.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Lue is interested in adding former five-time All-Star Chauncey Billups as an associate head coach and the two have already been in contact. Billups, 43, transitioned to broadcasting for ESPN and the Los Angeles Clippers since retiring in 2014 and previously turned down a front office role with the Cavs and Atlanta Hawks in 2017.
"Owners and executives had courted Billups because of his innate ability to lead men in the NBA, and a belief that his intelligence, instincts and work ethic would translate into front office or coaching -- however he decided to proceed. For Billups, an apprenticeship under Lue on a contender likely fast-tracks him into a head coaching job.
"Billups and Lue are longtime friends who shared the same player agent, Andy Miller. This year, they joined the Clippers: Lue as assistant, Billups as a broadcaster. In the end, they could both become one-and-dones for the organization."
Lue is currently in his second stint as an assistant coach with the Clippers having previously worked with the team from 2013-14 before rejoining Doc Rivers' staff last offseason after over four years with the Cavs.
The NBA coaching carousel is likely to look a bit different this offseason, and that may benefit Lue.
With the playoffs set to end no later than October 13 and the 2020-21 season tentatively scheduled to begin in early December, proven coaches who can get up and running quickly will be at a premium. If Lue is already working on getting a staff together, that could make the former NBA champion coach even more desirable.
Wojnarowski notes openings may present themselves with the Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets as well.
Each of the three clubs have title windows open and could make a compelling case for Lue's return as a head coach.