Rumor: Trail Blazers expected to keep Terry Stotts

AP Photo/Michael Wyke
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The Trail Blazers have lost 10 straight playoff games, including this year becoming the highest seed (No. 3) to get swept in a best-of-seven first-round series. Portland had the NBA’s fifth-highest salary. Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen was investigating earlier this season where to assign blame.

So, of course, rumors swirled about Portland coach Terry Stotts’ job security.

But it appears Stotts will last another year.

Marc Stein of The New York Times in his newsletter:

The latest word in coaching circles is that the Blazers prefer to keep Stotts heading into the final year of his contract

Damian Lillard probably saved Stotts’ job. The star guard has vigorously supported Stotts, and the Trail Blazers want to keep their franchise player happy.

But this won’t erase the questions in Portland.

The payroll is bloated for years to come. Starting center Jusuf Nurkic will be a restricted free agent this summer. Stotts must show he can make adjustments in the playoffs.

Will Trail Blazers president Neil Olshey lose his job? Will someone have a change of heart on Stotts – no announcement has been made – and conduct a coaching search? Will Lillard remain content in Portland?

Stotts has done well with this team, particularly developing a bond with Lillard. Stotts deserves to remain coach. But succeeding in the final year of his contract won’t be easy.