Blazers begin interviewing for vacant assistant position

Blazers begin interviewing for vacant assistant position
May 13, 2013, 1:15 pm
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Portland Trail Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts has begun the process of interviewing various candidates for their assistant coach opening vacated by Kaleb Canales, who took the same position with Dallas, has learned.

Stotts conveyed to last week that he is hoping to hire a new assistant closer to Summer League in July.

Detroit assistant/big-man specialist Roy Rogers was inquired about by the Trail Blazers recently, according to a league source. But both sides agreed it wasn't the right fit. Stotts pursued Rogers last offseason, as well.

So who should Stotts call for an interview? Here are three interesting names.

Elston Turner is known as a defensive guru and that's exactly what the Trail Blazers lacked last season. He is currently in the running to become the Head Coach of the Charlotte Bobcats. If he fails to land that gig, his skill-set would be a perfect compliment to Stotts and his offensive creativity.

Turner made it to the final four of the Trail Blazers' Head Coaching search last offseason.

Patrick Ewing makes some sense. He has publicly stated to that he would like to get back on an NBA bench. His knowledge of how to play the center position on both sides of the ball will help out the development of Meyers Leonard tremendously.

Ewing has made it clear that he feels like he's more than just a big-mans coach, but if he's on your staff, how could you not assign him to the bigs more often than the other assistants?

The Hall-of-Fame center agreed to interview for the Trail Blazers Head Coaching vacancy last offseason, but a family vacation prevented him from doing so.

The dark horse is Brandon Roy: The 2006-07 NBA Rookie of the Year told back in January that he would love to get into the coaching profession immediately if his knees were unable to hold up, ending his playing career.

Unlike most All-Stars who have dominated this league using their athleticism, Roy did it mostly with his smarts and knowing how to play angles on both sides of the ball. Players that played the game from the neck up, tend to be better coaches. Plus, it would be a great story in Portland.

A coach on the rise:

Nick Nurse, Head Coach of the Rio Grande Valley of the NBA Development League, has been receiving high remarks from inside NBA circles.  Nurse has won two D-League championships with two different teams (Iowa Energy in 2010-11 and RGV in 2012-13) and received Coach of the Year honors in 2011. It won't be long until he's on an NBA staff.