Pacers Rumors: Terry Stotts Expected to Be HC Candidate After Nate Bjorkgren Firing

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 9, 2021

PORTLAND, OREGON - MAY 29: Head coach Terry Stotts of the Portland Trail Blazers looks on in the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets during Round 1, Game 4 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Moda Center on May 29, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. 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 Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
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The Indiana Pacers reportedly fired head coach Nate Bjorkgren Wednesday after just one year with the team, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Wojnarowski also noted Indiana will look for a "more experienced, established head coach" to fill the opening.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported former Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts is among the veteran coaches the Pacers will consider.

Stotts spent the past nine years as Portland's coach before he was fired earlier this month. He also spent parts of four total seasons leading the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks earlier in his career.

The 63-year-old was a model of consistency during his time with Portland, reaching the playoffs in each of the last eight seasons. He helped the squad reach the Western Conference Finals in 2019.

However, Portland was looking for more from the coach after first-round exits in five of the last seven seasons.

The Pacers had a similar situation with five straight first-round losses from 2016-20. Nate McMillan was fired after his fourth-straight playoff loss last season, including three four-game sweeps in that stretch.

Bjorkgren was hired as a first-time head coach after serving as an assistant with the Toronto Raptors and Phoenix Suns. Things did not go as expected, with the Pacers finishing 34-38 while failing to reach the playoffs. 

Wojnarowski also noted Bjorkgren "lost the locker room" during his first season.

Indiana could go with more experience with its next hire while trying to get the most out of a roster that features a quality core led by Domantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon and Myles Turner.