Tyronn Lue is taking over another title contender.
The former Cavaliers coach, who led Cleveland to its first championship in five decades with LeBron James in 2016, is finalizing a five-year deal to become the head coach of the Clippers, according to ESPN. Former NBA Finals MVP Chauncey Billups is expected to take his first-ever coaching position as Lue’s top assistant, according to The Athletic.
Lue, who spent this past season as a Clippers assistant under Doc Rivers, was considered a frontrunner for the vacant head coaching position with the Rockets, increasing the likelihood that Jeff Van Gundy could return to an NBA sideline for the first time since his four-year run with the Rockets ended in 2007.
Lue, 43, began his coaching career in Boston in 2011, then followed Rivers to the Clippers in 2013. After one season in Los Angeles, Lue headed to Cleveland, where he was named David Blatt’s replacement on Jan. 22, 2016. Months later, Lue became the third-ever rookie head coach to win an NBA title. Lue reached the NBA Finals the next two seasons, but was fired after James left for the Lakers and the Cavaliers lost their first six games of the 2018-19 season.
Next season, Lue will battle James for supremacy in the Western Conference, with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George back for at least one more season with the Clippers.
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