Twenty-four hours after being eliminated from the NBA playoffs, the Blazers are parting ways with head coach Terry Stotts.
ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski, who first reported the news, described the decision as a mutual agreement.
Earlier in the season, it was reported that Stotts was likely to be fired, barring a “playoff miracle.” The Blazers managed to take the Denver Nuggets to six games, but ended up squandering a 14-point third quarter lead in the deciding game at Moda Center, losing by a score of 126-115.
Stotts took over as head coach before the 2012-13 season. He departs as the second-winningest coach in franchise history, with a total win-loss record of 402-318.
“We are all grateful for Terry’s contributions and his nine years with the Trail Blazers,” Blazers chair Jody Allen said in a press release. “I appreciate his steadfast dedication to the players, the game, and the broader Portland community. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Wojnarowski reports that potential candidates to succeed Stotts as head coach include Chauncey Billups, Jeff Van Gundy, Mike D’Antoni and Juwan Howard.
Earlier in the day, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that the Blazers were targeting Jason Kidd for the job, news that was met with criticism on social media due to long-standing allegations of domestic abuse against Kidd.
After news broke of Stotts’ departure, Haynes reported that Kidd is Damian Lillard’s top choice to replace Stotts: “Jason Kidd is the guy I want,” Lillard said.