Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/25/12

Kaleb Canales is one of the four finalists for the Blazers head coaching position after going 8-15 as interim coach last season.

The Trail Blazers’ coaching search has been pared to four finalists: Terry Stotts, Elston Turner, Steve Clifford and Kaleb Canales, The Oregonian has learned.

The four candidates will interview in Portland next week, after which general manager Neil Olshey is expected to make a recommendation to owner Paul Allen.

Stotts is the lead assistant for Dallas and is the only finalist besides Canales with head coaching experience. Stotts has a 114-168 record in four seasons as a head coach in Atlanta and Milwaukee. His best season was in 2005-2006 when he led the Bucks to a 40-42 record and a playoff appearance. He is credited with directing Dallas’ offense during the Mavericks’ title run in 2011.

Turner has been an NBA assistant for 16 years, including the last two in Phoenix and a five-year stint in Portland (1996-2000). A noted defensive coach, Turner also spent time in Houston and Sacramento. A 6-foot-5 guard, Turner played eight years in the NBA with Dallas, Denver and Chicago and was known for his defense.

Clifford spent the past six seasons in Orlando, and has spent all of his coaching career under the Van Gundys - Jeff in New York and Houston - and Stan in Orlando. He is viewed as a teacher and mentor.

Canales, 34, is the youngest of the candidates, and the candidate who comes with the strong endorsement of the Blazers players. He replaced head coach Nate McMillan in March on an interim basis and went 8-15. A former video coordinator for the team who works out with star LaMarcus Aldridge, Canales coached the Blazers’ Summer League entry and guided them to a 4-1 record. In the process, he worked extensively with heralded rookies Damian Lillard and Meyers Leonard.

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