By STEVEN VAUGHAN, 750 THE GAME
We are still all digesting the fact that Damian Lillard is no longer a Portland Trail Blazer. It’s weird. Lillard got sent to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday afternoon as part of a three team deal where the Trail Blazers ended up getting guard Jrue Holiday, Deandre Ayton, Toumani Camara, and draft picks.
John Canzano said after the trade that even though he doesn’t trust Trail Blazers management, he likes what the Blazers did in the trade.
“You got to have a big thumbs up for this trade,” Canzano said on 750 The Game. “If you’re sitting back watching, evaluating what did they get for a player who wanted out. I think you give it a thumbs up because this is not a fire sale. They did not take pennies on the dollar. I think they got enough.”
It’s a thumbs up for the Blazers. It’s a thumbs up for Damian Lillard who is now part of the Bucks who are the betting favorites to win the NBA championship. Canzano says there is another person who should be giving this trade a thumbs up.
“Chauncey Billups as a coach has to give it a thumbs up. He’s looking at next season. His job is on the line. He’s got to coach the team. The last thing he wants to do is win 21 games. Now he’s got some players that make them better, and also his age is lined up better.”
Billups is entering his third season as head coach of the Trail Blazers. The first two have not gone great. Billups has a 60-104 record as Trail Blazers head coach. In defense of Billups, the Blazers were trying to lose games at the end of both seasons to better their draft position. But Canzano says this trade of Lillard should be helpful to Billups’s coaching style. This is the time where Blazers fans can see if Chauncey Billups can actually coach or not.
“I think he (Billups) has a locker room, outside of Jrue Holiday, that are full 0f guys in their 20’s that all kind of line up together and I can work with this. So now let’s see if Chauncey Billups can coach.”
As with the NBA, one drama ends and then we look forward to the next drama. The Lillard era in Portland is over. It is now the Scoot Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe era. This season is a big one to see if Chauncey Billups will be a part of the new era for long.
Listen to the full segment starting at the 1:51:20 mark of the podcast below. Catch the Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano weekdays 3-6 p.m. in Portland exclusively on 750 The Game.