Report: Terry Stotts Expected to Be Fired by Blazers After Season; Jason Kidd Linked

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 5, 2021

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - APRIL 18: Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts looks on during their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center on April 18, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers are expected to move on from head coach Terry Stotts this offseason, according to Shams Charania of 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."

Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd, Atlanta Hawks interim coach Nate McMillan and Los Angeles Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups are among the names Portland might look toward to replace Stotts.

Few will be surprised if the Blazers move on from Stotts since he appears to have taken the franchise as far as he can.

Portland is seventh in the Western Conference at 36-29, which would put the team into the play-in tournament to qualify for the playoffs. The enthusiasm from a conference finals run in 2018-19 has dissipated, and Stotts might be looking at a first-round exit for the fourth time in five years—assuming the team gets in.

The Blazers are set to finish with their sixth winning record in Stotts' nine seasons in charge, but regular-season success eventually only counts for so much, especially when a star such as Lillard is on the roster.

Lillard's four-year, $176.3 million supermax extension goes into effect next season, and he has given no indication of being disgruntled. But the clock is ticking for Portland to capitalize when the 30-year-old is still playing at an All-NBA level.

Portland isn't a marquee free-agent destination, and there isn't a way to significantly shake up the roster absent from trading away C.J. McCollum. A coaching change would be the easiest lever to pull in the hope something can change in 2021-22.

Both Charania and ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Nate Bjorkgren is already on shaky ground with the Indiana Pacers in his first season at the helm. There is no guarantee things would be better for the Blazers with Stotts gone.

But ownership doesn't have many other options if it's yearning for something more.