The Trail Blazers have had internal discussions about Heat coach Erik Spoelstra during their coaching search, according to veteran reporter Ethan Skolnik of 5 Reasons Sports.
Skolnik added that there is no indication contact between the Blazers and Spoelstra has been made, or that Spoelstra has any intention of leaving Miami.
Spoesltra, 50, is a product of Beaverton Jesuit High in Oregon and played college ball at Portland from 1988-92. But he has been with the Heat since 1997, when he started as an assistant coach. He’s been head coach since 2008.
More likely, the Blazers’ coaching search is focused on reported top candidates such as Nets assistant Mike D’Antoni, Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups, Spurs assistant Becky Hammon and several others.
The Blazers interviewed D’Antoni on Monday, and intend to do the same with Billups ad Hammon this week, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
”We’re running a very expansive, diverse search,” Blazers president Neil Olshey recently told reporters. 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.”
Portland is aiming to replace Terry Stotts, who coached the team for nine seasons and led it to eight straight playoff appearances before mutually parting ways after the season.