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Betting Odds and Prediction for Who Replaces Steve Clifford as the Next Orlando Magic Head Coach
After taking a major step back in year three of the Steve Clifford regime, Magic president Jeff Weltman has pulled the plug on his head coach.
Citing it as a mutual decision as Orlando dives headfirst into a rebuild, the front office must begin their search to find a new leader.
Sure enough, we can bet on who will be the next Orlando Magic head coach. Before evaluating a few of the top contenders, let’s check in on the pricing.
Odds for the Next Magic Head Coach
There are several familiar names on this list, including a couple of women vying to become the first female head coach in NBA history.
Becky Hammon has been roaming the Spurs sidelines since 2014 under the watchful eye of Gregg Popovich – touts around the league think it’s only a matter of time until an organization gives Hammon the opportunity to lead.
Kara Lawson spent one year as an assistant with the Celtics (2019-20) before being hired to coach Duke Women’s Basketball in July of 2020. Lawson’s first season in Durham was canceled four games in – my hunch is that it’s a bit premature to think the 40-year-old former WNBA champ is ready for an NBA head coaching gig.
Rather than try and force their way into the headlines for being the first team to hire a female HC, the focus of Weltman and GM John Hammond will be bringing in somebody who has a track record of developing young talent.
Essentially, they’re looking for the next Steve Clifford. Let’s examine who that could be.
Sam Cassell turns 52 in November, it’s about that time the journeyman point guard gets a shot at being an NBA head coach. Starting with a five-year stint as an assistant for the Wizards (2009-2014), Sam has worked his way up the ranks and is revered as one of the most respected assistant coaches in The Association.
Having been attached to Doc Rivers’ hip since 2014 – first in LA and now in Philly – Cassell is likely to field multiple HC interviews this offseason.
And while some of the top NBA betting sites have Sam as the favorite to land in Orlando, not all of the sportsbooks are seeing eye-to-eye on that theory.
Over at BetUS, the sheet for the next Orlando Magic head coach odds has Cassell lurking at 7th in line at +900.
Relieved of his duties in Portland one day before Orlando canned Steve Clifford, perhaps there is a correlation. NBA insider Marc Stein wasted little time putting “two and two together” as he tweeted out the following on the same day Clifford was ousted.
The Magic have interest in former Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts, league sources say, after Orlando and Steve Clifford parted ways today.June 5, 2021
Also being heavily linked to Indiana’s vacancy, it appears that Stotts isn’t going to be out of work for too long. The 63-year-old guided the Trail Blazers to the playoffs in each of the last eight seasons, including a trip to the Conference Finals in 2019.
While Jeff Weltman is eager to appoint someone, who can cultivate young talent, he also would love to get on his hands on a proven commodity who’s “been there and done that.”
If Stotts gets the nod to be the next Orlando Magic head coach, Weltman will have killed two birds with one stone.
Penny Hardaway’s head coaching career got underway in 2018 at his alma mater. Why not take the leap and man the sidelines for the same franchise that you played his best basketball with?
A 4x All-Star with the Magic (1995-1998), Hardaway has dealt with all sorts of headaches and distractions stemming from unwanted allegations during his time at Memphis.
Clearing the slate and getting a fresh start is surely something Penny has pondered.
Sounds like Penny is at least leaving the door open should the Magic show genuine interest.
Squarely in the mix of Orlando Magic head coach candidates, David Vanterpool has already announced that he won’t be returning to the Timberwolves sidelines as an assistant in 2021.
As Chris Finch looks to fill out his staff, Vanterpool could start zeroing in on the opening in Orlando.
Vanterpool’s experience coaching young players in Europe bodes well for his capacity to handle the current roster in Orlando. Armed with two first-round picks in 2021, along with the impending return of Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz, the Magic are a project worth undertaking.
Especially for a hungry soon-to-be first-time HC like David Vanterpool.
Next Magic Head Coach Prediction
I believe that Terry Stotts will be Orlando’s first choice. However, I am reluctant to assume that feeling will be mutual. Should Stotts take the job in Indiana or wind up sitting the year out, Penny Hardaway emerges as Plan B.
Hardaway has made his mark coaching up freshman and making the most out of the hand he was dealt.
Having just delivered an NIT Championship to Memphis in the spring, he also demonstrated his propensity to rally his troops when their minds could easily wander.
If you’re on board and want to back Penny to be the next Magic head coach, just make sure you head to BetUS and capture his +900-price tag. Once you lock that wager in, start thinking about who’s going to take over for Brad Stevens in Beantown.