The Magic’s long, deliberate search for a new head coach will continue this week, as the team is set to interview former Hornets coach Steve Clifford, league sources tell Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link).
Clifford, who was let go by Charlotte at season’s end, expressed a desire to coach again next season and interviewed for the Suns’ and Bucks’ jobs before they hired Igor Kokoskov and Mike Budenholzer, respectively. Before leading the Hornets to a 196-214 (.478) record over five seasons, Clifford held a number of NBA assistant jobs, including one in Orlando from 2007 to 2012.
Although the Magic’s head coaching search has already lasted nearly a month and a half, Clifford is only the third candidate confirmed to have interviewed with the club. Orlando has been mum on its search for Frank Vogel‘s replacement, with Trail Blazers assistant David Vanterpool and Spurs assistant Ime Udoka representing the only interviewees whose names had surfaced before today.
Still, it’s possible that the Magic have spoken or met with more candidates. University of Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson has been repeatedly cited as a contender for the position, but it’s not clear if he has formally interviewed with the franchise. (Update: Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel indicates that the Magic have interviewed Sampson.)
The Magic are one of three NBA teams still on the lookout for a new head coach, joining the Raptors and Pistons. We’re tracking the latest updates on those coaching searches right here.