Orlando Magic agree to part ways with head coach Steve Clifford

Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic need a new head coach to replace Steve Clifford.

The Orlando Magic are officially in the market for a new head coach.

As reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Saturday, the Magic mutually agreed to part ways with head coach Steve Clifford as the team moves in a new direction toward a full-scale rebuild.

The two sides reportedly met several times over the last few weeks to discuss the future direction of the team before ultimately agreeing it was time for a split. The Magic now join the Boston Celtics and Portland Trail Blazers as teams with head coaching vacancies that need to be filled.

The Orlando Magic and Steve Clifford part ways

It’s not surprising the Magic are heading in a new direction, given the state of the franchise. After shipping out Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier before this year’s NBA trade deadline, it became clear Orlando was going all in on its younger cornerstone players and trying to acquire draft picks in the process.

That left Clifford, who helped lead Orlando to the playoffs the last two years before this season, in a bit of an awkward position. Clifford amassed a 96-131 record in his three seasons with the Magic, including a winning 42-40 record back in 2018-19. Unfortunately, Orlando was gentleman’s swept from the first round both times, before injuries and the trade deadline roster blowout led to a 21-51 record this season.

According to The New York Times’ Marc Stein, former Blazers head coach Terry Stotts is already considered a top candidate to replace Clifford on the Magic.

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