Magic Notes: Coach, Hennigan, Harris

Hiring a head coach outweighs everything else for the Magic during the upcoming offseason, writes Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.

“It’s essential for us,” GM Rob Hennigan said. “We’re at a critical point now. Again, we believe in the talent on this team. We know we’re a young team. We know we have a long way to go. But, again, finding that right coach, that right person to push us in the right direction, to prod us in the right direction — it’s imperative.”

Robbins notes that the team is strongly inclined to hire someone with extensive NBA head-coaching experience. While the Magic haven’t named any potential candidates, Robbins names Scott Skiles and Tom Thibodeau as likely candidates this offseason.

Here’s more from Orlando:

  • All indications are that a contract extension for Hennigan will be in place relatively soon, writes Robbins in the same piece.
  • The team should generate additional cap space and make a simultaneous run at Marc Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge, opines Robbins in the same piece. Orlando has slightly under $38.9MM in guaranteed salary on the books for the 2015/16 season, as our Salary Commitment page indicates.
  • Tobias Harris, who scored 17.1 points per game this season, will be a restricted free agent this offseason. The 22-year-old has tried to not worry about his future, John Denton of writes. “You get a little nervous at times, but I think everything is going to work out for me  I wanted to go out and have a successful year and a great year and I think I’ve put in the work. It’s in the teams hands with whatever wants to be done,’’ Harris said. “All I can do is really sit back and be patient at this time.’’  The forward has been linked to the Knicks, but if Orlando extends him a qualifying offer, it can match any offer sheet he signs.
  • Elfrid Payton played in every game this season and the rookie has shown he belongs in the NBA, opines Denton in the same piece. Payton averaged 8.9 points per game and sported a 13.8 player efficiency rating this season.

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