NBA News: Orlando Magic Hire Jacque Vaughn as New Head Coach
The search for a new head coach is officially over for the Orlando Magic with the team’s front office coming to terms with Jacque Vaughn according to ESPN.com:
“Orlando announced the hiring of Jacque Vaughn, 37, as its next head coach on Saturday, bringing the latest 30-something member to a basketball operations department following the hiring of 30-year-old general manager Rob Hennigan last month.”
After firing Stan Van Gundy and parting ways with GM Otis Smith, the Magic continue to clean house as they prepare to start from scratch. Hiring a new head coach was priority number one for GM Rob Hennigan and company as they wanted to make sure they brought in the right man for the job to become the new leader on the sidelines.
Before agreeing to become the Magic’s new head coach, Vaughn was an assistant for Greg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs. The former Kansas standout coached under Popovich for two years.
As a 12-year veteran, Vaughn played for six different teams including the Magic and Spurs before retiring in 2009.
With all the talk of a blockbuster trade to send Dwight Howard elsewhere, the Magic’s front office has been thrust into the spotlight this summer with virtually everyone wondering and waiting to see how everything unfolds in Orlando.
After meeting with Howard in Los Angeles last week to talk about the superstar center potentially staying in Orlando, Hennigan was informed that the league’s best center still wants to be traded before next season. Howard let it be known that he wants to be dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers as soon as possible or traded to the Brooklyn Nets in January. The perennial All-Star was also open to leaving the team after next season as an unrestricted free agent.
Now that the Magic have hired Vaughn to take over for Van Gundy, Hennigan can concentrate on trading Howard. It remains to be seen whether or not Orlando will continue to hold onto Howard without receiving a trade proposal that intrigues them.
It’s difficult to say how all this will be pan out in the coming months before the 2012-13 NBA season, but the hiring of Vaughn may have kicked the Howard trade talks into high gear with the team potentially wanting to end all the speculation and move on without the three-time Defensive Player of the Year.