The Orlando Magic fired Jacque Vaughn Thursday after a 15-37 start to the 2014-15 season, which includes the team’s current 10-game losing streak.
Vaughn was 58-158 in two-plus seasons at the helm of Orlando, which according to Basketball-Reference, is the second-worst winning percentage for an NBA coach with a minimum of 200 games coached.
The Magic’s next task will be finding Vaughn’s replacement. Here are five candidates:
Jackson is and will be mentioned for every head coaching gig that opens up this season considering his successful and somewhat puzzling departure from Golden State. Jackson was 121-109 as coach of the Warriors, which included two trips to the postseason, where his team went 9-10.
The past year or so Jackson has returned to ESPN as a broadcaster. He’s also been mentioned as a possible candidate for the Cleveland job, should it open up after this season.
Most recently the coach of the Bucks, Skiles was a member of the Magic during his playing career. From 1989-1994, Skiles started 285 games in a Magic jersey, averaging 12.9 points and 7.2 assists per game.
Skiles is considered the favorite to land the Orlando gig, per Yahoo Sports. As the coach of Phoenix, Chicago, and Milwaukee the past 13 years, he owns a 443-433 mark, including an 18-24 record in seven trips to the postseason.
Like Jackson, Karl has been keeping tabs on NBA head coaching vacancies from Bristol, and has stated publicly he’d like to return to coaching at some point.
The issue for the Magic is that Karl, 63, may not be the coach for the long haul. With such a young roster, Orlando may want a younger coach that — should he be successful — can remain with the team for more than let’s say five years.
The Kings’ head coach before getting fired earlier this year, Malone should very much be credited for DeMarcus Cousins‘ development. In addition, upon his departure the Kings began to regress defensively as a team.
Like the Kings, the Magic have a young big man in Nikola Vucevic, who perhaps could thrive under Malone’s tutelage. Perhaps Orlando took notice to Malone’s work in Sacramento and will be willing to give him a second chance as an NBA head coach.
Donovan once flirted with the notion of joining Orlando back in 2007 following a national championship victory at Florida. But the Gators overpaid to keep Donovan in Gainesville and Orlando had to settle for Stan Van Gundy. Maybe the coach is feeling the NBA itch again?
Donovan is already beloved in the Florida community and has built up quite the successful program there. Unless he sees himself getting a better college gig in the near future, perhaps the NBA is the route he’ll choose to follow.
Borrego was named the Magic’s interim head coach in Vaughn’s stead, and perhaps if the assistant coach impresses over the next 30 days, he can secure himself a head coaching job for the permanent future.
Yahoo Sports suggests it’s unlikely that Borrego or any of Vaughn’s assistants will be promoted to head coach, but Borrego has to be the top choice. He’s a former member of the Spurs’ staff and was a part of two NBA championship teams in 2005 and 2007. A dark horse, but a worthy candidate as well.