INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Pacers have fired head coach Nate Bjorkgren, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, on Wednesday, and directly after the news, Chris Haynes of Yahoo! reported that former Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts will be a focus for the Pacers during their coaching search.
Stotts spent the last nine years as head coach of the Blazers and made the playoffs in eight of his nine seasons in Portland.
In the daunted Western Conference, he proved he was able to coach a consistent winner every season, and while they could not get over the hump and win a title, he would bring a level of experience to the Pacers that they did not have with Bjorkgren, who was never a head coach before the Pacers hired him a year ago.
Wojnarowski reported that the Pacers would be looking for someone who is more established.
Stotts fits the bill having coached over 1,000 NBA games. He also has a Hoosier connection. The 63-year-old went to high school in Indiana, graduating from Bloomington North.
Last season, when the Pacers were looking for a candidate to replace Nate McMillan, who was fired after four seasons, Stotts was still coaching the Trail Blazers and several names emerged before Bjorkgren was hired.
The list of candidates the Pacers had last season were all qualified, and it was something of a surprise that Bjorkgren emerged as the candidate.
All four of these candidates are still available, along with Stotts. Here's who the Pacers considered a year ago, and might do so again:
1.) On Sept. 9, 2020, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that former NBA All-Star Chauncey Billups had emerged as a candidate.
4.) On Aug. 26, 2020, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Mike D'Antoni would be a target for the Pacers, when he was coaching the Houston Rockets.