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Terry Stotts Contract Negotiations Coming, Raise Due

Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune describes the status of the potential Coach of the Year and potential thorns surrounding his contract negotiations.

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune posted a story Thursday on Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts and his impending contract negotiations. Stotts is working on the last non-option year of his current contract. The Trail Blazers have several options at the end of the season:

  • pick up his option year, retaining him for one more season
  • renegotiate a new deal, extending his tenure longer
  • terminate the agreement and let him go

With Stotts' track record of success--including a .555 winning percentage in Portland, three consecutive trips to the playoffs, and flirtation with the NBA Coach of the Year award in 2014 and presumably again this year--letting him walk seems the least likely of the three options. As Eggers reports, that sentiment is echoed by the players:

"I've had every personality as a coach you can possibly think of," [Blazers forward Ed] Davis said. "I can't say one bad thing about Coach Stotts, from his coaching style to how he treats people. I always say I want to play hard for him every night. I probably want to play harder for him than I do for myself. It's all respect from here.

"They should rip up his contract and give him a five-year deal — in player terms, a max deal," [center Chris] Kaman said. "That's my guy."

But the process is not without intricacy. As Eggers points out, both Stotts and Trail Blazers executive Neil Olshey--presumably the front man for the team in negotiating--are represented by the same agent, Warren LeGarie. Olshey is staying mum on Stotts' status, claiming a hard line against negotiating during the season. Eggers highlights that LeGarie was responsible for negotiating Olshey's last contract and promotion with the Blazers in the middle of the 2014-15 season.

Eggers ende the article by quoting LeGarie taking a stand for his client, potentially against another:

"This time, we're probably going to take a bit of a stand. You can't keep putting him in (a lame-duck) position. I'm hoping (Blazer owner Paul Allen and Olshey) feel the same way.

"I'm always optimistic. If they're not interested, there are a lot of teams that will be."

Eggers' article is a stone-cold must-read.