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Report: Magic would have “immediate interest” in Terry Stotts if available

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Stotts could be on the hot seat in Portland after another early playoff exit

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Add another potential candidate to the Magic’s coaching search.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reports that if the Portland Trailblazers part ways with head coach Terry Stotts, the Magic would show “immediate interest.”

Stotts, in his sixth season as head coach of the Blazers, guided the team to a 49-33 record, which was good for the Northwest Division title and the third seed. But on Saturday, the Blazers were surprisingly swept by the New Orleans Pelicans, continuing a trend of disappointing postseason performances under Stotts.

In six season with the Blazers, Stotts has gone 272-220 in the regular season, including a pair of 50-win seasons, but just 11-23 in five postseason appearances.

Stotts’ coaching career began in 1994-95 when he was an assistant for the Seattle Supersonics. Head coach of the Hawks from 2002 to 2004 and of the Bucks from 2005 to 2007, Stotts has built a career record of 387-388.

Despite Portland’s early departure this season, Stotts being terminated seems a bit harsh given the fact that the Blazers were expected to be a fringe playoff team this season and overachieved in what was a highly-competitive Western Conference.

The Blazers had the eighth best defensive rating in the league this season at 104.2 points per 100 possessions, but were middle of the pack with a 106.1 offensive rating.

Stotts has guided the Blazers to the playoffs in each of the last five seasons, with the team advancing to the second round in 2014 and 2016.

While a firing isn’t exactly imminent, Stein makes it sound as if the Magic won’t wait long to reach out to Stotts should he be in need of a new job. With president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman and general manager John Hammond currently scouting overseas, all has been quiet on the Magic coaching search.

According to reports, Jerry Stackhouse is set to interview with the Magic at some point. Beyond that, there hasn’t been much to report in regard to coaching rumors.

In my opinion, with the Magic reportedly seeking a coach that specializes in player-development, it seems more likely they’d hire a younger coach, not far removed from his playing days, that can relate to today’s players in ways that an establish coach like Stotts, now 60 years old, may not.

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