After a fourth first-round exit in five seasons, the Portland Trail Blazers and Head Coach Terry Stotts have agreed to mutually part ways.
The disappointing first-round loss to the Denver Nuggets was ultimately the final straw. Stotts was the second-winningest coach in franchise history after nine seasons with the team, but the lack of defensive systems coupled with another first-round exit, sealed his fate.
As per usual, NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski had the news. Interestingly, it said that the parting was mutual, even though Stotts himself had said in a press conference after the series loss that he wasn’t worried about his job security as he had two seasons to run on his deal still.
Stotts crowning glory was the 2019 Western Conference Finals run, but he could not replicate something similar this season in a weakened Western Conference. The Blazers had arguably their best team in five seasons, but their 29th-ranked defense got shredded by Nikola Jokic in the playoffs, leading to a four games to two loss.
Haynes has always been locked into Lillard’s camp, so this is great to see. Dame can’t afford to waste another year of his prime, so signing off on the next coach helps keep him happy in an off-season that may see a major change.
Kidd is an interesting choice for Dame’s pick after his exit from the Milwaukee Bucks, and then his unpopularity among some fanbases due to assault charges and a history of domestic abuse. He can coach, but no teams with vacancies have recently hired him as their head coach.
It is assumed that the coaching search will begin right away.