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Magic Notes: GM Search, Howard, Van Gundy

It's been a busy week for the Magic, who fired coach Stan Van Gundy and parted ways with GM Otis Smith on Monday. Dwight Howard still may want out of Orlando, however, and the team could be open to accommodating him. Meanwhile, the team's search for a new general manager has them targeting Mitch Kupchak of the Lakers, but not Shaquille O'Neal. Let's check in on the latest out of Orlando:

  • The Magic will begin interviewing GM candidates next week, CEO Alex Martins tells Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. The new GM will also try to sell Howard on his long-term vision for the team and try to convince D12 to sign a long-term extension.
  • Martins has identified "championship experience" as an asset for potential GM candidates. Besides Kupchak, the following names could interest the Magic, according to Robbins: Pacers GM David Morway, former Pacers and Knicks exec Donnie Walsh, former Hornets GM Jeff Bower, Celtics assistant GM Ryan McDonough, and Pacers director of player personnel Kevin Pritchard.
  • Howard told that his recovery from back surgery is going well and that his back is doing "a lot better." The big man also spoke briefly about Van Gundy, saying that he hates to see anyone lose a job, and reiterating that he had nothing to do with the decision.
  • Making a radio appearance with ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, Jeff Van Gundy was critical of Martins and the Magic for the way they handled his brother's dismissal. Scott Schroeder of transcribed a number of Van Gundy's notable quotes, including the broadcaster's opinion on Howard's role in the firing: "To try to make everyone believe that Dwight Howard didn't have a part in this is absurd. Just say 'we fired this guy because we feel this is our best chance to keep Dwight Howard. Dwight Howard and I decided to fire him."

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