The Trail Blazers have granted permission for the Magic to interview assistant David Vanterpool about their head coaching job, as Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel details. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Chris Haynes (Twitter link).
Vanterpool, who has spent the past six years with Portland, was among four candidates to interview for the position in 2016 after Scott Skiles stepped down, Robbins notes. Orlando opted for Frank Vogel, who was fired after this season ended.
Vanterpool tied for third in a poll of GMs taken before the start of this season ranking the league’s top assistant coaches. The 45-year-old had brief NBA experience as a player, but spent most of his time overseas and in the Continental Basketball Association.
The news about Vanterpool makes him the first confirmed candidate for the Magic job, though a mid-April report indicated that the team intended to meet with Jerry Stackhouse. When Vogel was dismissed more than two weeks ago, team officials indicated they planned to take their time finding his replacement.
Robbins writes that president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman, who is running the coaching search, is expected to reach into his Toronto background and contact Raptors assistant Nick Nurse in addition to Stackhouse, who coaches Toronto’s G League affiliate.