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 â 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."