With the Magic wrapping up another lost season, there’s a sense in Orlando that it could be the last one for coach Frank Vogel, writes Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel.
Vogel is 50-102 in nearly two full years with the Magic, operating against a background of change. The team replaced GM Rob Hennigan and cleared out several other members of the basketball operations department last summer. New team president Jeff Weltman and GM John Hammond may prefer to select their own coach this offseason.
Neither would comment about the situation to Robbins, but speculation has been growing as Orlando quickly fell out of contention after an 8-4 start. When they assumed their new jobs, Weltman and Hammond said they planned to make this a season of evaluation, both for the roster and the coaching staff. Vogel signed a four-year contract in the summer of 2016, but the fourth season is a team option that hasn’t been exercised.
Robbins notes that the Magic made two important personnel errors that summer that left Vogel with a flawed roster. They traded Victor Oladipo to the Thunder for Serge Ibaka, then gave a four-year, $68MM contract to Bismack Biyombo, giving Vogel an abundance of big men at a time when the league was embracing guard play. Aaron Gordon was forced to play out of position at small forward and never adapted to the position.
The Magic have been hit heavily by injuries this season, with first-round pick Jonathan Isaac missing 47 games and Terrence Ross sitting out 48. Injuries also cost them 23 games for Gordon, 13 for Evan Fournier and 24 for Nikola Vucevic. Vogel has been in a difficult position since he came to Orlando, but even if the front office understands that, it may not be enough to save his job.