The final vacant head coaching position remaining in the NBA was filled Tuesday when the Portland Trail Blazers hired Mavericks assistant coach Terry Stotts to replace Nate McMillan.
Stotts has four seasons of prior head coaching experience, spending a year and a half each with the Hawks and the Bucks. His overall record is not incredibly sterling and he has just one Playoff appearance — a five-game cameo in 2006 in Milwaukee — to his name. Stotts' overall coaching record is 115-168.
Terry is one of the elite offensive minds in the NBA, has extensive experience with multiple organizations and was instrumental in the Dallas Mavericks winning the 2011 NBA championship," general manager Neil Olshey said. "He understands the vision for the future of the franchise, appreciates the process involved and will create an environment on the court that will produce championship habits."
Despite his average head coaching record, Stotts has done some great work for the Mavericks the last four years. He was obviously a part of the staff that helped the Mavericks win the championship. He may have been to the offense what current Raptors coach Dwane Casey was to the Mavericks defense in that championship run.
Stotts brings one of the most innovative offensive minds in the league to Portland to apply to a roster that includes LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews. This is very much a roster in rebuilding mode at the moment despite a few seasons of awful luck and near-second round Playoff misses.
The plan the Blazers have though is where the hire gets interesting. Interim head coach Kaleb Canales is not going anywhere. He will remain a Portland assistant and sort of act as the Blazers' defensive coordinator alongside Stotts, according to Jason Quick of The Oregonian. Carlisle told Quick that Canales and Stotts have been talking bout the team for the last few days, leading up to the hire.
Every coaching job is different and likely Stotts has learned a lot more in the six seasons since his last head coaching job. But that record is difficult to look past sometimes.
Then again, Stotts has never really had a roster to write home about. His lone playoff team came in Andrew Bogut's rookie year with Mo Williams pouring in a career year at that point. The Pistons dropped them in five games unceremoniously.
The Blazers will have a similar roster of young players and may not be expected to do much. These are the rosters Stotts never got over the top. Maybe this will be his time. Or maybe Stotts will have similar results as his last two stints.