Terry Stotts will be the coach of the Portland Trail Blazers for the foreseeable future as the team announced on Thursday afternoon that they signed their head coach to a “multi-year” contract extension.
Stotts coached the Blazers for their first playoff birth since 2011 and their first playoff series win since 2000.
“Terry has done an outstanding job during his first two years with the organization,” said Blazers general manager Neil Olshey in a release announcing the extension. “This extension illustrates our confidence in him as our head coach as well as the Portland Trail Blazers’ continued commitment to building a model of consistency and stability.”
Stotts, coming off four years as an assistant for the Dallas Mavericks, inherited a team coming off of one of the most tumultuous seasons in years following the lockout of 2011. They fired then coach Nate McMillan and traded away Gerald Wallace and Marcus Camby at the deadline.
The Blazers missed the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.
However, in those deadline-day trades the Blazers acquired the draft pick that became Damian Lillard and a few months later, the Blazers signed Stotts as coach.
In Stotts’ first season he led the Blazers to 33-wins and they were in the playoff picture up until injuries wiped their postseason hopes away. They had memorable wins and they formed an identity behind lots of threes and ball movement on offense featuring LaMarcus Aldridge and Lillard.
Nicolas Batum also stepped into a bigger role offensively under Stotts. Batum was limited in the way he was allowed to play under McMillan, and Stotts gave him enormous responsibility.
Batum has credited Stotts many times with both helping put him in positions to succeed but also allow him to play the game in the way he did when he was a youth.
In Stotts’ second season with a revamped roster, the Blazers won 54 games and made it to the playoffs for the first time since 2011 and helped the franchise win their first postseason series in 14 seasons.
Unlike his first season with the Blazers, Stotts did not have a “defensive coordinator” and took full charge of the defense which began and finished the regular season very well.
Stotts, who didn’t make it more than two seasons in his previous two head coaching stops in Milwaukee and Atlanta, is now on contract for at least two more seasons.
“Portland is a unique and special place and I’m very proud to be the head coach of the Trail Blazers,” said Stotts in the release from the team. “We started the process two seasons ago and laid the foundation for success. I look forward to the possibilities of the upcoming seasons.”