Northwest Notes: Stotts, Wolves, D-Lo, Dort

Despite a disappointing season so far in Portland, there’s no reason to believe Terry Stotts‘ job will be in any danger this spring, a source with knowledge of the situation tells Sam Amick of The Athletic. Coming off the Trail Blazers‘ appearance in the Western Conference Finals a year ago, the team extended Stotts’ contract through the 2021/22 season.

This season, the Trail Blazers are in danger of missing the postseason altogether. Even if they sneak in, they’re extremely unlikely to win a series. However, major injuries to key contributors like Jusuf Nurkic, Zach Collins, and Rodney Hood have played a significant role in Portland’s slide, so regardless of how the season ends, Stotts looks safe going forward, Amick writes.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • The Timberwolves have the most valuable combination of first-round picks for the 2020 draft, according to research by ESPN’s Kevin Pelton (Insider link). Besides their own lottery pick, the Wolves will have Brooklyn’s first-rounder, which will almost certainly fall in the 15-17 range.
  • D’Angelo Russell had his first great game since joining the Timberwolves on Wednesday night, showing why the team pursued him so aggressively for so long, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.
  • ESPN’s Royce Young reported earlier this week (via Twitter) that Thunder wing Luguentz Dort has 16 days of NBA service time available on his two-way contract. Since Dort is only moving closer to his 45-day limit on days when Oklahoma City actually plays, the team should be able to have him active through March 28, the last day of the G League season. After that date, he can spend the rest of the regular season with the Thunder.
  • As I explained earlier today, Dort won’t be eligible for the postseason unless the Thunder promote him to their 15-man roster. Young suggests (via Twitter) that talks on a standard contract likely won’t pick up until late in the season, since it could be in both sides’ best interests to wait — OKC would save some tax money and Dort could continues increasing his value.
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