Mavs' search for assistant coach takes a hit

The Mavericks' search for a successor to lead assistant coach Terry Stotts will continue without two of the prime names Rick Carlisle had been targeting.

Former Toronto Raptors coach Jay Triano, according to NBA coaching sources, is poised to join Stotts' staff in Portland as opposed to coming to Dallas.

That means Triano and Los Angeles Lakers-bound Steve Clifford, two highly regarded assistants that sources say Carlisle was eyeing, are off the market.

Former New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns assistant coach Phil Weber remains a Mavs candidate, sources said.

Yet the widely held assumption in coaching circles is that Carlisle wants to hire an assistant coach with head-coaching experience after the departures of Dwane Casey (to Toronto) and Stotts (to Portland) during the last two offseasons.

Two coaching sources said late Thursday that a new name to watch in the Mavs' search, who fulfills the head-coaching prerequisites, is Jim O'Brien, who replaced Carlisle in Indiana in the 2007 offseason.