The Terry Stotts era has come to an end in Portland.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Los Angeles Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups, Brooklyn Nets assistant Mike D’Antoni, University of Michigan head coach Juwan Howard and Jeff Van Gundy are on the list of potential candidates to replace Stotts.
Stotts' exit comes on the heels of his second straight first-round playoff loss and fourth in the last five years. The sixth-seeded Blazers were bounced from the 2021 NBA playoffs in six games by the third-seeded, and short-handed, Denver Nuggets.
Heading into the 2020-21 season, expectations were high after an offseason that brought defensive-minded players to Portland. With the additions of Robert Covington and Derrick Jones Jr., the pressure of turning around the team’s defense was elevated.
But after revamping the roster, the defense instead regressed. Portland went from the fourth-worst defensive-rated team in the NBA last season to the second-worst this season as they finished the regular season with a 42-30 record.
Introduced as the franchise’s 14th head coach in August 2012, Stotts held a 402-318 overall regular-season record while leading Portland to eight playoff appearances, three Western Conference semifinals and the Western Conference finals in 2019. The 16-year coaching veteran is the second-winningest coach in franchise history behind Jack Ramsay.
The 63-year-old had been the fourth-longest tenured head coach in the league, trailing only Rick Carlisle, Erik Spoelstra and Gregg Popovich.