Portland Trail Blazers parted ways with Terry Stotts after another first round exit in the playoffs. General manager Neil Olshey admitted that the Blazers are looking for a defensive-minded candidate.
The Blazers were the second-worst team in defensive rating this season continuing the trend of the last few years, where Portland was among the worst in that statistical category.
(via NBC Sports):
“The first-round loss and the defensive rating at 29 was not a product of the roster,”Olshey said.
When the coaches interview, they will have to provide a vision. … We’ve got 80 percent of our starting lineup under contract and returning absolutely. So, at least they know what they’re dealing with for the most part in terms of how do they get this group to get to another level on the defensive end of the floor? And that will clearly be critical in anybody advancing in the process is they’re going to have to prove they’re going to have the ability to do that.
The mission is clear. If we’re going to take the next step, they’re going to have to make an impact on the defensive end of the floor. So, that will be a criteria.
Portland has Lillard, McCollum, Covington and Nurkic under contract next season. Olshey said he wants to re-sign their other starter, Powell. So, the roster is expected to be similar with this season’s squad.