Trail Blazers

Blazers HC Terry Stotts listed among coaches on the hot seat

Trail Blazers
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As the Portland Trail Blazers gear up for their 8th straight trip to the NBA playoffs, sitting 7th in the West (36-29), a cloud lingers overhead. 

Head coach Terry Stotts has held his position with the team since 2012 and is the 4th longest tenured coach in the league. 

However, there is growing belief that the Trail Blazers will move on from Stotts, who has the 2nd most wins in franchise history (360-288). 

After the Blazers dropped 10 of 15 games in April, Yahoo! Sports' Chris Haynes called it "a disheartening period that will likely end up costing coach Terry Stotts his job." 

Citing growing frustrations from Lillard, Haynes wrote, "Simply put, Lillard has not received the help he needs to win a title in this era. As he turns 31 this summer and considering all he’s done for the franchise, a more aggressive, risky approach is needed..."

The Blazers have been to the playoffs every season except for Terry Stotts' rookie campaign, but they've stalled out in the Western Conference Semifinals twice and the Western Conference Finals once. The Blazers have not been to the NBA Finals since 1992 when they lost to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.

And while Stotts is the 2nd winningest coach in Trail Blazers history, he holds a 20-36 playoff record, which includes four first round exits, including a sweep to the Pelicans in 2017 as a 3-seed. 

On Wednesday, Shams Charania of The Athletic listed Stotts as a coach on the 'hot seat.'

 

Sources say his time in the role is increasingly expected to come to an end after this season, in large part, because this team just can’t find a way to truly become elite. 

Shams Charania, The Athletic

"If Stotts can’t 'pull a rabbit out of his hat' with a playoff miracle of sorts, as one source put it, the Blazers are expected to opt for a new coaching voice," Charania wrote. "And the Damian Lillard timeline, it seems, is playing a big part here."

Stotts has one year remaining on his current contract worth roughly $6M. 

Also listed on the hot seat, according to Charania, are Pacers HC Nate Bjorkgren, Bucks HC Mike Budenholzer, Kings HC Luke Walton and Wizards HC Scott Brooks. 

So, if the Blazers move on from Stotts after this season, Charania links Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd, Atlanta Hawks interim coach Nate McMillan and Los Angeles Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups among the names Portland might look toward to replace their current head coach.

League sources tell NBC Sports Northwest that the search for the Blazers next head coach would focus on established coaches in the league and not assistant coaches without extensive prior experience as head coaches.

Since the Trail Blazers April slide, they responded with a four-game winning streak and sit one game outside of the five-seed.