When Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports polled executives around the NBA recently on rising head coach candidates, Raptors assistant Nick Nurse and Raptors 905 head coach Jerry Stackhouse were among the top names on the list. According to Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times, both Nurse and Stackhouse will likely be among the the candidates the Magic consider if the club elects to replace Frank Vogel this offseason.
In addition to the fact that current Magic president Jeff Weltman was formerly the GM in Toronto, Stackhouse also has a connection to Orlando general manager John Hammond, who was the GM in Milwaukee when Stackhouse played for the Bucks. Woelfel adds that some NBA officials believe the Magic are “leaning toward” replacing Vogel with Stackhouse, though Orlando’s list of preferred targets figures to become clearer if and when the club formally moves on from its current head coach.
Here are a few more coaching notes and rumors from Woelfel:
- Multiple sources tell Woelfel that Clippers coach Doc Rivers and Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer would have “more than a passing interest” in the Bucks‘ position if they move on from their current teams this offseason. Some NBA officials believe that Budenholzer wouldn’t want to be part of an “extensive” rebuild in Atlanta, according to Woelfel.
- While the Suns are expected to conduct a wide-ranging head coaching search, multiple NBA executives and coaches think David Fizdale, Jason Kidd, and Villanova’s Jay Wright will receive strong consideration, says Woelfel.
- Besides Wright, Virginia’s Tony Bennett is among the college coaches expected to draw NBA interest. “Everybody knows he’s an exceptional defensive coach, but he does some really nice things offensively, too. He can flat-out coach.” one longtime NBA executive told Woelfel. “I think almost every team that is in the market for a new coach will take long, hard looks at Wright and Bennett. They’re both great coaches and they’re both great guys.”
- A league source expects Mark Jackson and David Blatt to be among the finalists for the Knicks‘ job if the team dismisses Jeff Hornacek, according to Woelfel.