Scott Skiles is the top candidate to take over the open head coaching position with the Orlando Magic, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski.
There were rumors earlier this year that Skiles, a former Magic player, was the preferred choice. Woj reports that Magic general manager Rob Hennigan has had conversations with several candidates, but it’s Skiles that has stood out from the pack. Discussions on a contract could start soon.
Orlando had interest in Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, a similar coach to Skiles, but the Magic don’t want to shell out any compensation for Thibodeau. The Bulls want draft compensation in exchange for Thibodeau, but nobody seems willing to bite.
Like Thibodeau, Skiles is a hard-nosed coach known for his defense. The Magic have a young, athletic roster that was poor on defense this past year, and clearly Hennigan believes Skiles could get that group to become a strong defensive unit.
There are some pitfalls, of course. Skiles has been known to wear out his welcome after a few years, and he doesn’t have a good relationship with Magic forward Tobias Harris, who will be a restricted free agent this summer and will likely command a lucrative new deal.
Skiles has a 443-433 career regular-season record in 13 seasons. He has reached the postseason six times and has an 18-24 playoff record.