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Blazers, Terry Stotts part ways amid Damian Lillard trade rumors

Damian Lillard, Blazers, Terry Stotts

The Portland Trail Blazers have reportedly parted ways with head coach Terry Stotts after another unsuccessful playoff stint that led to a first-round exit for Damian Lillard and Co.

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, it looks like the decision is mutual as the Blazers aim to take another direction.

The Blazers lost to the Denver Nuggets in six games in the 2021 playoffs despite winning the opening contest and Damian Lillard producing absurd numbers throughout the series. Dame averaged 34.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 10.2 assists against Denver, but his numbers were not enough to power Portland through the Nikola Jokic-led franchise.

Sure enough, after another heartbreaking run, talks about Terry Stotts’ future with the team had been put under the microscope. After all, in eight playoff appearances over nine seasons in Portland, Rip City suffered five first-round exits–four of which came in the last five years.

Portland made it all the way to the West Finals in 2018-19, and they went to the second round in 2013-14 and 2015-16 seasons. However, given the fact that the Blazers have not shown significant improvements over that span, it is not surprising the front office decided to take another direction.

Stotts finished his Blazers coaching career with a 402-318 win-loss record in the regular season. He is, unfortunately, a staggering 22-40 in the postseason.

Interestingly, this development came amid trade rumors surrounding Lillard. After their Game 6 defeat to the Nuggets, Dame Time posted a cryptic Instagram post quoting Nipsey Hussle, saying ‘How long should I stay dedicated.” The IG post sparked talks that he wants out, with some teams reportedly already calling for his availability.

It remains to be seen what will happen to Portland in the offseason, but it’s safe to say big changes will be made in a bid to catapult the team to title contention in Lillard’s prime years.