The Orlando Magic are—finally—close to making a coaching change. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Orlando’s management is ready to replace head coach Jacque Vaughn, who, despite being in his third season with the Magic, has yet to turn his team into a competitive one.
The Orlando Magic are close to firing coach Jacque Vaughn and a change could come soon, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
As embarrassing losses accumulate, Vaughn is rapidly running out of time to show the progress needed to make it through the next several days – never mind the fourth and final year of his contract in 2015-’16, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
“It isn’t a matter of ‘if,’ anymore, but ‘when,’” a source close to the decision-making process told Yahoo Sports about Vaughn’s fading job security.
After a 115-100 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks at Amway Arena on Thursday night – the 13th loss in the past 15 games – the Orlando Sentinel reported that the Magic “haven’t ruled out making an in-season coaching change.”
The Magic are 15-34 and have free-fallen into 13th place in the East, and while there was no mandate to make the postseason this year, there was an expectation that Vaughn needed to compete into April for a spot in the playoffs.
This is Vaughn’s third year as the Magic’s coach. Orlando exercised the fourth-year option on Vaughn’s contract over the summer, guaranteeing his salary for the 2015-’16 season.
In fact, the lack of a natural candidate to promote to interim head coach from a young, inexperienced staff of assistants has played a part in Orlando management’s hesitancy to have already made a change, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Management has been evaluating Vaughn closely in recent weeks, and played a part in pushing him to play a faster tempo based on the youth and athleticism of the roster, league sources said.
Vaughn is 58-154 in his career. The Magic are far from a juggernaut, but with players like Elfrid Payton, Nikola Vucevic, Tobias Harris and Victor Oladipo, should be playing at a higher level than they are. One has to wonder, though, if Rob Hennigan, the team’s general manager, is on alert now, too.