SATURDAY, 1:25pm: Despite the Kings reportedly intensifying their talks with Karl, the Magic aren’t going to rush to beat Sacramento to the punch and hire him, Sam Amick of USA Today reports. Orlando still wishes to take its time in considering multiple candidates over the next few days, Amico adds.
1:15pm: Karl made it clear via Twitter that he is indeed interested in the job (hat tip to Robbins). “Love and miss the NBA rodeo!” Karl wrote. “It’s no secret I would love the opportunity to coach one more time. Love the skills and speed of the Magic and the great young players throughout the league!”
FRIDAY, 10:38am: Several league sources think Orlando might pursue Tom Thibodeau if he shakes free from the Bulls at season’s end and if the Magic haven’t already made a long-term hire by then, as Chris Mannix of SI.com writes in his Open Floor column. Several league sources recently told K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune that the relationship between Thibodeau and the Bulls is “beyond repair,” though the Bulls have denied that. The prevailing sense within coaching circles is that the Magic are prepared to ride with interim coach James Borrego for the time being, tweets Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.
Three different people have suggested to Kyler that Skiles won’t take the Magic job without personnel control, while one source told Kyler that Magic ownership seemed to be the driving force behind the appearance of Skiles’ and Jackson’s names in connection with the opening (Twitter links). Still, Mannix seconds earlier reports indicating that Skiles is a leading candidate, and writes that Jackson, Malone and Del Negro figure to eventually receive interviews.
THURSDAY, 3:55pm: Sources have informed Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders that George Karl would be interested in coaching the Magic (Twitter links). In the past, Karl has stated his preference was to coach out west, but he finds the Orlando position an attractive one, Kennedy relays.
1:51pm: The Magic will consider Scott Skiles, Mark Jackson and Michael Malone to take over the head coaching job that came open today when the team fired Jacque Vaughn, a source tells Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Assistant coach James Borrego holds the job on an interim basis. Orlando had yet to make contact with any potential candidates or their representatives before today, and the team has just begun gathering information, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. It remains a “wide-open process,” Wojnarowski adds.
Several executives speculated to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com last week that Skiles would become a candidate, and Broussard also identified Jackson among the “names to watch.” Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports called Jackson a “serious candidate” earlier today, and suggested Malone could wind up in the running. Wojnarowski also mentioned Vinny Del Negro, though it’s not clear if that was just speculation.
In any case, the Magic are looking for a proven veteran for their next coach, Kennedy hears (Twitter link). Many believe that Vaughn still has the capacity to become a successful head coach but think he would have benefited from more time as an assistant with the Spurs, with whom he spent two seasons before taking the Magic job, Wojnarowski writes.
Vaughn released a statement today that was complimentary of the Magic, as Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel relays. The ex-coach drew praise from soon-to-be restricted free agent Tobias Harris, who took to Twitter after the firing (Twitter link; hat tip to Robbins). “I want to thank Coach Vaughn for being a first class individual not only to myself, but everyone associated with the Magic,” Harris wrote.