Orlando Magic

Draft Notes: Sixers, Dunn, Bentil, Briscoe

Fresh off securing the No. 1 pick in next month’s draft, the Sixers won’t limit their options to LSU’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram, writes Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Philadelphia is planning workouts for California forward Jaylen Brown, Providence point guard Kris Dunn and Kentucky combo guard Jamal Murray, Spears reports. The Sixers may also offer invitations to Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield and Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Dragan Bender. “The media has their darlings and that is perfectly fine,” Brown said of the attention surrounding Simmons and Ingram. “I’m just here to prove that I’m in the conversation with those two, if not better.” Brown also issued a challenge to the projected top two picks, saying, “Do they want to work out [against] me? I think that’s the question.”

There’s more draft-related news as Wednesday’s deadline for underclassmen to return to school approaches:

  • The results of Tuesday’s lottery may push Dunn out of the top five, according to Derek Bodner of USA Today. Bodner believes the best scenario for Dunn would have been for the Lakers to drop to No. 4 and ship their pick to the Sixers, who need help at point guard. If Simmons and Ingram are the first players selected, the next three teams — the Celtics, Suns and Wolves — all have established point guards on their roster.
  • Providence power forward Ben Bentil, who announced earlier today that he is staying in the draft, will work out for the Pacers Monday, tweets Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. The sophomore will have a session in Orlando later this week.
  • Kentucky freshman Isaiah Briscoe has a workout scheduled this week for the Hawks, Zagoria tweets. Briscoe hasn’t decided whether to stay in the draft or return to school.
  • Briscoe will work out for the Wolves Monday, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link). Joining Briscoe will be Wichita State’s Fred VanVleet, BYU’s Kyle Collinsworth, Florida’s Dorian Finney-Smith, Louisiana-Monroe’s Majok Deng and South Carolina’s Michael Carrera.
  • The Jazz believe in volume when it comes to workouts, writes Jody Genessy of The Deseret News. Utah hosted Oregon’s Tyler Dorsey, Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell, Finney-Smith, Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes, Xavier’s Jalen Reynolds and Mississippi State’s Gavin Ware on Sunday, and expects to work out dozens more before draft day. “We’re trying to find players, not only possibly for the Jazz but also for the [D-League Salt Lake City] Stars,” said vice president of player personnel Walt Perrin. “Get to know as many people as possible.”

Magic Notes: Vogel On Strategy, Team

Frank Vogel believes he can turn the Magic into a top-10 defensive team and he will implement “an analytically based offensive approach,” in which the team employs small-ball lineups and emphasizes the 3-pointer, as the coach tells Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. The team only attempted 22.2 3-pointers per game last year, which was the ninth fewest in the league. The Magic shot 35.0% from behind the arc last season, which was tied with Atlanta for 15th in the league, so they could afford to take a few more shots from downtown.

Here’s more from Orlando:

  • Vogel envisions Nikola Vucevic as the Magic’s defensive enforcer, Robbins writes in the same piece. “It’s really mostly about body position in today’s NBA,” Vogel said. “I feel like I can work with him to improve him. But anybody that’s going to be caught in that center position has got to be the anchor of your defense. We work diligently on teaching the angles, teaching the anticipation, teaching the coverages for when there’s help.”
  • Scott Skiles may have quit on the Magic, but that doesn’t phase Vogel, and he insists Orlando is the right place for him, as he tells Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel. “I’m not worried about the situation of how [Skiles] left,” Vogel said. “This organization checked off all the boxes. This is the place I felt my family and I would be happy.”
  • Vogel sees similarities between this Magic team and the young Pacers team of a few seasons ago, Robbins writes in a separate piece. “The team really reminds me of the team I took over here in Indianapolis, with the young Paul George, Lance Stephenson and Roy Hibbert,” Vogel said. “Those guys hadn’t really seen success at the NBA level, and we were able to just bring a positive energy-and-enthusiasm type of approach to the young talent that they had and we watched them grow. It was really special. I see a lot of similarities with the depth of the young talent that we have on this roster.”
  • Robbins details the Magic’s rapid hiring process of Vogel in that same piece. Vogel and GM Rob Hennigan had a two-hour phone conversation on Sunday. That was followed by face-to-face interviews with Hennigan and CEO Alex Martins, as well as a meeting with the DeVos family, the team’s owners, on Monday. On Friday afternoon, eight days after Skiles resigned, the Magic named Vogel their new head coach.

Magic Hire Frank Vogel

Bill Streicher / USA TODAY Sports Images

Bill Streicher / USA TODAY Sports Images

FRIDAY, 4:15pm: The hiring of Vogel is official, the team announced via press release. “While we were conducting our search, it became very evident that Frank is a terrific fit for our organization,” said Hennigan. “He is a strong, hard-working and experienced leader, who will continue to instill smart, physical, unselfish and defensive-minded basketball in our group.  We welcome him into the Magic family, as we move forward in a positive direction.

5:03pm: Orlando hopes to retain Griffin as the top assistant on Vogel’s staff, Wojnarowski tweets.

4:54pm: Vogel’s will receive a four-year deal worth approximately $22MM, David Aldridge of NBA.com reports (Twitter link).

THURSDAY, 2:53pm: The Magic have reached an agreement in principal with Frank Vogel that will make him their new head coach, Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel reports (on Twitter). The length and terms of the proposed arrangement are not yet known. Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported earlier today that the two sides were nearing an agreement.

Orlando was scrambling to recover from former coach Scott Skilessudden resignation and were said to be targeting a coach with a track record of developing young players and who was a strong defensive coach. “Sort of the fulcrum of what we’re looking for,” GM Rob Hennigan said, “is someone who puts an emphasis on the defensive end of the floor, someone who puts an emphasis on player development and also someone who puts an emphasis on building lasting connections with the players on our roster.” The GM didn’t specifically say that description fit Vogel, but the coach certainly did well developing a young Indiana squad into an Eastern Conference contender during his time with the Pacers.

The Pacers went 250-181 in parts of six seasons under Vogel, who inherited the head coaching job, his first in the NBA, when the Pacers parted ways with Jim O’Brien in January of 2011. That record doesn’t include his postseason mark of 31-30, with Indiana making back-to-back conference finals under Vogel in 2013 and 2014.

Orlando also interviewed former Rockets interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff, Trail Blazers assistant David Vanterpool and current Magic assistant Adrian Griffin. Griffin was reportedly Vogel’s stiffest competition for the post, with the assistant speaking formally with team officials on Tuesday. The team is reportedly extremely fond of Griffin, but the front office was intrigued by Vogel’s résumé and the fact that he is an established NBA head coach, a claim that Griffin cannot make. Griffin has been considered a prime head coaching candidate around the NBA for the last few years, reportedly interviewing with the Blazers in 2012, the Pistons and twice with the Sixers in 2013, and the Jazz twice as well as the Cavs in 2014.

Lakers' Pick Scenarios

The Lakers were able to keep their 2016 first-rounder when they landed the No.2 overall pick in Tuesday’s lottery. The team still owes Philadelphia and Orlando a first round pick each and Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders breaks down the possible pick exchanges in a series of tweets. Los Angeles sends its 2017 first-rounder to Philly if it falls outside the top-3. If the Sixers get the 2017 pick, then the Magic receive the Lakers’ unprotected 2019 selection. If it doesn’t convey in 2017, then the Lakers send their 2018 unprotected pick to Philly and they wouldn’t owe Orlando a first-rounder at all. Instead, the Magic would receive a 2017 second-rounder and a 2018 second-rounder. Los Angeles is in this predicament because of its 2012 trade for Dwight Howard and its 2012 trade for Steve Nash.

Community Shootaround: Frank Vogel

The Magic hired Frank Vogel to be their head coach earlier today. Vogel will receive roughly $22MM over the next four seasons and the team is hoping he can develop its young core. The coach will inherit a team that won 35 games and has some nice pieces in place, but the current roster likely won’t yield one All-Star over the next few seasons.

Vogel compiled a record of 250-181 as the head coach of the Pacers. He also made back-to-back conference finals appearances in 2013 and 2014. He was able to interview for the Knicks vacancy before they offered the job to Jeff Hornacek and had he waited until next season to coach, he certainly would have garner interest among teams looking for a new head coach.

So that leads us to tonight’s question: Are the Magic a good fit for Frank Vogel or should he have waited for a better head coaching gig? Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the topic. We look forward to what you have to say.

Knicks To Hire Jeff Hornacek

Tim Fuller / USA TODAY Sports Images

Tim Fuller / USA TODAY Sports Images

THURSDAY, 4:35pm: The Knicks have formally offered the job to Hornacek and the two sides are engaged in contract discussions regarding the length of the deal and annual salary, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (Twitter links).

7:15pm: A source close to Hornacek confirms that negotiations are still ongoing and nothing has been finalized, tweets Frank Isola of The New York Daily News. Jackson has apparently decided to hire Hornacek, Isola adds, but no contract is in place (Twitter link). Berman describes the process as “mutual interest,” but in the “very, very early stages.” (Twitter link).

WEDNESDAY, 6:43pm: Jeff Hornacek will be the next coach of the New York Knicks, tweets Howard Beck of Bleacher Report. Hornacek, who was fired by the Suns in February, became a candidate late in the process after team president Phil Jackson reportedly pushed to keep interim coach Kurt Rambis.

Former Cavaliers coach David Blatt and recently fired Pacers coach Frank Vogel were believed to be the other finalists for the position. The Knicks didn’t contact Hornacek about the job until three weeks after the search began, tweets Marc Berman of The New York Post.

The deal is not fully complete, Beck cautions, though a source tells him it’s “as close as humanly possible.” (Twitter link). Barring any last-minute complications, a formal announcement is expected soon.

Hornacek doesn’t fit the profile that would be expected of a Jackson coach. He’s not part of Jackson’s coaching lineage and he has never run the triangle. The hiring suggests that Jackson’s influence with owner James Dolan might be waning.

Hornacek comes to New York with a 101-112 career coaching record that he compiled in two and a half seasons in Phoenix. His only other coaching experience came in three years as an assistant in Utah. He had also talked to the Rockets about their head coaching position and was considered to be a candidate for the openings in Memphis and Orlando. ESPN’s Marc Stein reported this week that the Warriors had “strong interest” in hiring Hornacek as a lead assistant.

Latest On Magic Coaching Search

1:37pm: Former Rockets interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff made a strong impression during an interview on Wednesday, but the team is moving toward making a contract offer to Vogel, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (on Twitter).

8:51am: The Magic’s search for a new head coach continues, with the team interviewing Trail Blazers assistant David Vanterpool on Wednesday, Jason Quick of CSNNW.com reports. Vanterpool had spent two years working in the Thunder’s front office alongside current Orlando GM Rob Hennigan prior to joining Portland as an assistant in 2012. The 43-year-old was under consideration last year for the Nuggets vacant post, but lost out to Michael Malone, who just completed his first season in Denver. Vanterpool also interviewed for the Sixers head coaching job in 2013 and seemingly became the frontrunner for that position at one point. Before that, he was an assistant coach for CSKA Moscow under European coaching icon and current Spurs assistant Ettore Messina.

Despite Vanterpool’s ties to Hennigan and the glowing endorsements he has received from players on the Blazers, the job appears to be Frank Vogel‘s if he wants it, Marc Stein and Chris Broussard of ESPN.com relay. The Magic believe they have emerged as Vogel’s preferred destination and are positioned to quickly complete a deal with him if their coaching search continues to progress in its current direction, the duo write. Vogel is also considered to be the Grizzlies’ top choice, which means Orlando is feeling pressure to get a deal done quickly, the scribes note.

Vogel’s main competitor in Orlando, according to Stein and Broussard, is Magic assistant coach Adrian Griffin, who interviewed for the post on Tuesday. The team is extremely fond of Griffin, but team management is intrigued by Vogel’s résumé and the fact that he is an established NBA head coach, a claim that Griffin cannot make, Stein and Broussard write. Griffin has been considered a prime head coaching candidate around the NBA for the last few years, reportedly interviewing with the Blazers in 2012, the Pistons and twice with the Sixers in 2013, and the Jazz twice as well as the Cavs in 2014.

Southwest Notes: Grizzlies, Anderson, Terry

The Grizzlies spoke with at least two candidates today as their search for a new coach heats up. Heat assistant David Fizdale came to Memphis for an interview, tweets Marc J. Spears of ESPN.com., as did Portland assistant Nate Tibbetts, according to Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal (Twitter link). Both had been previously named as candidates for the job.

Spurs assistant James Borrego impressed Grizzlies officials during his interview earlier this week, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Memphis has also held interviews with Spurs assistant Ettore Messina, Hornets assistant Patrick Ewing and recently fired Pacers coach Frank Vogel (Twitter link). The Grizzlies have significant interest in Vogel, according to ESPN, but so does Orlando (Twitter link).

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Pelicans free agent Ryan Anderson says he was nearly traded to Cleveland at the deadline, relays Brett Dawson of The Advocate. Appearing on “The Vertical Podcast,” Anderson contends the Cavaliers were trying to work out a deal for him before they picked up Channing Frye from Orlando. “There was a very last-minute phone call that I could have gone to Cleveland,” Anderson said. “I would be playing for the Cavs right now.” Anderson said he didn’t ask the Pelicans to trade him because he wants to have the option in free agency of staying in New Orleans. Anderson’s last experience as a free agent came in 2012 when he was restricted and Orlando swung a deal to send him to the Pelicans. This time, he likes the feeling of being in complete control. “I want to enjoy this process and see where New Orleans is at this summer,” Anderson said. “I want to see where, I don’t know, Houston is at or Sacramento or Washington.”
  • The Spurs could be interested in power forward Thomas Robinson if he opts out of his deal with the Nets, according to Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express-News. Robinson would give up a little more than $980K by opting out, but he stands to make much more on the open market with the expected jump in the salary cap. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has talked about the need to rebuild the bench with younger players, and the 25-year-old Robinson, a former teammate of LaMarcus Aldridge in Portland, could be a possibility.
  • Rockets point guard Jason Terry thinks Dwight Howard would be a “great fit” with the Mavericks, but only if he adapts to coach Rick Carlisle, according to The Dallas Morning News“Whatever [Howard’s] role is, he would have to be the one to buy in first, and then you go from there,” Terry said on ESPN Radio’s Cowlishaw and Mosley show. “But he and Dirk [Nowitzki] together? That’s a powerful combination.” The 38-year-old Terry adds that he hopes to play one more season before retiring.

Latest On Magic Coaching Search

8:54pm: Orlando interviewed Vogel on Monday, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports. The scribe also confirms that team officials sat down with Griffin today. Vogel, who has also had discussions with the Grizzlies and Knicks, is “seriously interested” in the Magic’s vacant post, Wojnarowski relays. The Pacers went 250-181 in parts of six seasons under Vogel.

3:19pm: The Magic have conducted an interview with Adrian Griffin for their head coaching vacancy, reports Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. According to Robbins, the sitdown between Griffin and the Magic took place earlier today.

Griffin, 41, joined the Magic a year ago as the lead assistant on Scott Skiles‘ staff in Orlando. With Skiles having resigned from the head coaching position last week, Orlando is in the market for his replacement, and Griffin was one of several potential candidates mentioned in the wake of Skiles’ departure. Jeff Hornacek, Patrick Ewing, James Borrego, and Frank Vogel are among the others viewed as options for the Magic.

Before joining the Magic last summer, Griffin spent several years in Chicago as an assistant coach on Tom Thibodeau‘s staff. Griffin was promoted to lead assistant in 2013 and was viewed as a possible candidate to replace Thibodeau as the Bulls’ head coach, though that ultimately didn’t pan out.

Griffin has been considered a prime head coaching candidate around the NBA for the last few years, reportedly interviewing with the Blazers in 2012, the Pistons and twice with the Sixers in 2013, and the Jazz twice as well as the Cavs in 2014.

Victor Oladipo Changes Agents

Victor Oladipo has made a change to his representation, according to Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal, who reports (via Twitter) that the Magic guard has signed with CAA Sports agents Leon Rose and Mitch Nathan. Oladipo was previously represented by Raymond Brothers at IAM Sports and Entertainment.

Oladipo won’t be eligible for free agency this season, but July 1st will still be an important date for his contract situation. When the new league year begins, Oladipo will be eligible for a contract extension for the first time in his career. Assuming they don’t trade him, the Magic will have the opportunity to extend the 24-year-old’s contract anytime between July 1st and October 31st. If the two sides don’t work out a deal by that point, Oladipo will remain on track for restricted free agency in 2017.

Whether or not the Magic will push to work out an extension with Oladipo remains to be seen. The former second overall pick was the subject of at least one trade rumor back in February, and while his production has been steady over the last couple years, he hasn’t taken a big step forward through his first three seasons. Many of Oladipo’s 2015/16 numbers (16.0 PPG, .438 FG%, 4.8 RPG) were right in line with his career averages (15.9 PPG, .431 FG%, 4.4 RPG).

Oladipo will earn a salary worth about $6.55MM in 2016/17, and if he and the Magic don’t work out an extension this fall, he’d be in line for a qualifying offer in the neighborhood of $8.55MM next summer. The moves Orlando makes this July could signal whether the team still views Oladipo as a key long-term piece.

Although he hasn’t developed into a star player, Oladipo’s solid offensive contributions, along with his strong defense, should ensure that he’s well compensated when he eventually lands his next contract. CAA reps Rose and Nathan will now be tasked with negotiating that deal on their new client’s behalf.

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