Blazers Aim To Start Interviewing Coaching Candidates This Week

The Trail Blazers have moved on from ex-coach Terry Stotts after nine years and will begin to try to find their new main man on the sideline this week, president of basketball operations Neil Olshey told reporters.

More specifically, Olshey said he hopes to start virtual interviews with candidates over the next several days.CJ McCollum Neil Olshey

”We’re running a very expansive, diverse search,” he said. We’ll probably have anywhere from 20 to 25 candidates in there with biographical data, background, intel, impact studies, coaching records, playing records, etc., so that we all are speaking the same language as we vet these candidates.”

Olshey added, “I have not reached out to any teams or agents to request permission to conduct formal interviews until we’ve had a chance to review all those materials.”

Lakers assistant Jason Kidd withdrew his name from consideration over the weekend, after star guard Damian Lillard publicly endorsed him. Lillard reportedly is not making any demands from the Blazers in their coaching search.

That said, Lillard is likely to have “major” input, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

Rumored candidates include ESPN analyst and former Knicks and Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy, Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups, Michigan’s Juwan Howard and Nets assistant Mike D’Antoni.

Also, Celtics assistant Jerome Allen is expected to interview for the job, per Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

”Rumors move fast but process moves slow,” Olshey said.

He added that he will be seeking someone to improve their porous defense, ranked 29th in the NBA at the end of the season.

”It’s not acceptable,” Olshey said. ”At 29th, you are finishing below teams that are literally in rebuild.”

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