Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel explains makes a case for why Stan Van Gundy , who was fired after a single year on the job with the Pelicans, should be in the running for the Magic’s head coach job. Orlando is one of seven teams this summer with an open head coach position, and though they’ve expressed a desire to cast a wide net in their search, Parry writes that the Magic, given their defensive personnel, could be primed for a reunion with the defensive-minded coach.
We have more from around the Southeast Division:
- Winning Rookie of the Year has only left Hornets‘ guard LaMelo Ball hungrier coming into next season, writes The Charlotte Observer’s Jonathan Alexander. The young guard missed 21 games with a fractured wrist in the beginning of the season and struggled at times upon returning, but put together a very encouraging rookie year. “Definitely next season I want to come in with this little boost and pretty much looking forward to next season now,” Ball said. “That’s what we’re all working out for. That’s what we’re all here for. Pretty much just trying to get better every day.”
- Former Heat forward Shane Battier has left his job as the head of the team’s player development and analytics department, but plans to continue to consult for president Pat Riley and the Heat, reports Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson. The decision was entirely up to Battier, who had previously been considered a candidate for promotion should Riley retire. That now that possibility seems a little less likely, Jackson writes.
- Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald examines whether it makes more sense for the Heat to operate as an above-the-cap team or a cap room team, concluding that operating over the cap likely makes more sense as it would allow the team to re-sign players like Victor Oladipo and Trevor Ariza with Bird Rights, and to decline the options for Goran Dragic and Andre Iguodala and bring them back on new, cheaper deals.
- The Wizards need to be better, and that starts with the front office, writes Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post. With the Wizards choosing to not renew Scott Brooks‘ contract, they are also grappling with the fact that turning around the franchise is going to come down to more than a new coaching hire. “The days of one coach being the solution to every single problem a team has are over,” said GM Tommy Sheppard.