The remaining candidates in Orlando's search for a general manager are being told to consider Warriors assistant coach Michael Malone and Magic assistant coach Steve Clifford for the team's head coaching vacancy, reports HoopsWorld's Yannis Koutroupis. Absent from the list is Pacers assistant coach Brian Shaw, who is currently under consideration for the Bobcats' head coching position. The Magic will reportedly compile a list of finalists by next weekend which is expected to include former Hornets general manager Jeff Bower, Spurs assistant general manager Dennis Lindsey, former Trail Blazers vice president of basketball operations Tom Penn and Thunder assistant general manager Troy Weaver.
Out of all the general manager candidates, Bower is perceived as the front-runner given his experience running a front office during his tenure with New Orleans. Regardless of who is ultimately selected as the next general manager for the Magic, Koutroupis says Malone is the favorite to succeed Stan Van Gundy as head coach. The Magic have been without a head coach and general manager since May 22 when Orlando fired Van Gundy and parted ways with Otis Smith.
Malone has been linked to the Magic's head coach opening in the past as there was a report in April stating that Dwight Howard was in favor of him coming to Orlando as the team's next head coach. Clifford has been tied to the Magic organization since 2007 when he came on board with Van Gundy after serving as an assistant coach with the Rockets and Knicks. Aside from finding a new head coach, the major task of the Magic's next general manager will be to convince Howard to remain with the franchise beyond next season.