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.