The Trail Blazers and longtime head coach Terry Stotts have mutually agreed to part ways, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The Blazers confirmed that Stotts will not return in a press release. In a statement, president of basketball operations Neil Olshey said:
“I have the utmost respect for Terry and what he has accomplished these past nine seasons. This was a difficult decision on both a personal and professional level but it’s in the best interest of the franchise to move in another direction. Terry will always hold a special place in the Trail Blazer family and the Portland community. We relied on the integrity, professionalism and consistency he brought to the job every day and we wish he and Jan nothing but the best.”
Stotts, 63, has been the team’s head coach since the 2012-13 season. Portland has qualified for the postseason in eight consecutive seasons but made the conference finals only in 2018-19, when they were swept by the Warriors.
Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups, ABC broadcaster and former Rockets/Knicks head coach Jeff Van Gundy, former head coach and current Nets assistant Mike D’Antoni and University of Michigan head coach and former Heat assistant Juwan Howard are expected to receive consideration for the job, Wojnarowski reports.
Their quick exit in this year’s playoffs was unexpected. They were facing a depleted Nuggets team, while all of their starters were healthy. Despite some stellar performances from Damian Lillard, the Blazers were eliminated in six games.
Lillard has played under Stotts throughout his career. The All-Star point guard will have a major say on Stotts’ replacement, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
In his nine seasons with Portland, Stotts accumulated a regular-season record of 402-318 (.558). However, the Blazers went 22-40 (.355) in those postseason appearances. Stotts had one more guaranteed year on his contract, with a team option for 2022-23.