Jacque Vaughn, whose quiet approach has been the polar opposite of Stan Van Gundy's, has provided patience and poise to a franchise that has been looking to move on after last year's turbulent atmosphere with Dwight Howard (Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel). Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel says that although the Magic are enduring some growing pains, the young club has been showing encouraging signs of development. We have a few more miscellaneous links to share out of the Eastern Conference tonight:
You can find the miscellaneous links we've gathered up out of the Eastern Conference below:
Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel believes that although Magic coach Jacque Vaughn would preferably bring young players along slowly to gradually build their confidence, he may have to expand the roles of rookies Moe Harkless and DeQuan Jones much earlier than he would like now that Hedo Turkoglu is out with an injury. Here is the rest of tonight's edition of Eastern Notes:
The Lakers will retire Shaquille O'Neal's #34 jersey on April 2nd at Staples Center before the team faces the Mavericks, tweets Kevin Ding of The Orange County Register. He adds that the team will also retire center Jamaal Wilkes' #52 jersey on December 28. Also, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's statue will be unveiled on November 16, according to Ding (via Twitter). Here's what else we're hearing from the NBA this evening...
MONDAY, 3:43pm: The Magic have officially hired Vaughn, introducing him in a press conference today (link via NBA.com). According to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (via Twitter), Michael Curry was the only other coaching candidate to meet with the DeVos family.
SATURDAY, 9:55am: The Magic are set to hire Jacque Vaughn as their next head coach, a team official told Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. Orlando has issued a press release confirming the news and will introduce their new coach to the media on Monday afternoon.
Vaughn, 37, has spent the last two years as an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio. While the former point guard shared responsibilities with the rest of the Spurs assistant coaching staff, he was not technically among the top three to sit on the bench as those spots belonged to Mike Budenholzer, Don Newman, and Brett Brown.
Magic GM Rob Hennigan has history with Vaughn as he was working for the Spurs when the signed the guard in the summer of 2006. Hennigan cast a wide net in his coaching search, also conducting first-round interviews with Michael Curry, Jeff Hornacek, Michael Malone, Lindsey Hunter, and Brian Shaw. Hunter and Curry both made the final three, but Vaughn was reported to be the frontrunner for some time.
Vaughn will become the successor to Stan Van Gundy, a coach who compiled a 259-135 record during his time in Orlando and guided the club to the 2009 NBA Finals. Of course, Van Gundy's breakup with the Magic was anything but smooth as the coach battled with star center Dwight Howard and upper management.
The question now is whether Vaughn will have the opportunity to coach Howard. Earlier this week, Luke Adams ran down the possible destinations for the six-time All-Star.
3:44pm: The Magic hope to have a deal by early August, reports Sam Amick of SI.com (Sulia link).
3:04pm: Magic officials continue to hold out for the best Dwight Howard deal, and are unlikely to trade him in the next few days, Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld writes. The Rockets, a major player in trade talks, will be tied up while waiting for the Bulls to decide whether to match their offer sheet to Omer Asik, and it won't be clear what kind of cap space and assets Houston will have available until that situation is resolved, Kennedy says.
The Rockets and Lakers have been forced to bid against each other for Howard, and the Magic will weigh their final offers once the Bulls make their decision on Asik, according to Kennedy. Asik has signed the offer sheet but the Bulls have yet to see it, meaning the three-day period Chicago has to match is not yet under way. Last night, Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio also noted the Magic's patient approach, but heard from an opposing team's GM who said there's no way the Magic can bring Howard to training camp in late September. I'm not sure if that deadline holds much weight, however, since Howard and the Magic already co-existed last season amid plenty of trade speculation, and there's no guarantee Howard's back will be healthy enough to allow him to make the start of camp anyway, though the big man insists he'll be ready for the season.
If Howard is still with the Magic come January 15th, when the Nets can trade Brook Lopez, Newsday's Rod Boone believes Orlando and Brooklyn would reinitiate talks, but obviously much can happen between now and then (Twitter link).
The Magic remain focused on their coaching search in the meantime, which is down to assistants Jacque Vaughn of the Spurs, Michael Curry of the Sixers and Lindsey Hunter of the Suns, Kennedy says. With the second round of interviews complete, Vaughn still appears to be the frontrunner, reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, with Hunter the next choice. The next step involves meeting with the DeVos family, the owners of the team (Twitter links).
Jacque Vaughn looks like the frontrunner to replace Stan Van Gundy as the next head coach in Orlando. While nothing is concrete yet, Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld tweets that Vaughn appears to be in the lead for the job, while ESPN.com's Ric Bucher tweets that the Spurs assistant is a "good bet" to secure the position.
The Magic have been conducting their coaching search over the last few weeks, with Michael Malone, Brian Shaw, and Jeff Hornacek all falling out of contention. Michael Curry and Lindsey Hunter are said to be the other candidates still in the mix. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports wrote a week ago (via Twitter) that Vaughn's candidacy had "gathered momentum."
2:57pm: Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel confirms (via Twitter) that Vaughn, Curry, and Hunter are indeed the three finalists for the Magic coaching job.
12:59pm: A day after we heard that Brian Shaw and Michael Malone are no longer candidates to coach the Magic, Steve Luhm of the Salt Lake Tribune reports that another name is out of the running. Jeff Hornacek was informed by the team that he's no longer being considered for the head coaching job, according to Luhm."It was good to go through the process and talk to them," Hornacek said. "I guess I wasn’t what they were looking for.... We always believe what’s meant to be is meant to be. I guess this wasn’t meant to be."
According to Luhm, Hornacek is expected to return to the Utah bench as an assistant under head coach Tyrone Corbin. Meanwhile, the Magic's coaching candidates seem to have been reduced to Jacque Vaughn, Michael Curry, and Lindsey Hunter, with Vaughn viewed as the favorite.
Ever since the Raptors' acquisition of Kyle Lowry, there has been a steady flow of rumors revolving around Jose Calderon's future, or lack thereof, in Toronto. Calderon, who will run the point for Spain's Olympic team later this month in London, has already expressed his discontent with the thought of being relegated to back up duties, but according to Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun, he may not have a choice.
Wolstat caught up with Toronto GM Bryan Colangelo who said, “We have had a few more trade inquiries regarding Jose (but) the scenario doesn’t seem to present itself to a trade today, but we’ll continue to monitor that and just try to determine whether it’s going to work in the long run.” Colangelo also implied that amnestying Calderon is not in the plans.
Here are some more updates from around the league on Sunday night: