Charlotte Bobcats' coaching decision is good news for the Orlando Magic

Orlando MagicPoliticsElectionsCharlotte BobcatsPortland Trail BlazersHuman InterestPatrick Ewing

The Charlotte Bobcats’ decision to hire St. John’s University assistant coach Mike Dunlap as their head coach almost certainly is good news for the Orlando Magic.

It all but ensures that the Magic will have a wide candidate pool once they begin their search to replace Stan Van Gundy. And if you’re the Magic’s incoming GM — whether the incoming GM will be Jeff Bower, Rob Hennigan or Dennis Lindsey — you obviously want as many candidates to be available as possible.

Indiana Pacers associate head coach Brian Shaw was a finalist for the Bobcats’ coaching job, but the Bobcats went in an unexpected (and less expensive) direction with Dunlap.

In addition to Shaw, the list of potential Magic coaching candidates includes Steve Clifford, Mike D’Antoni, Patrick Ewing, Michael Malone, Nate McMillan, Chuck Person and Jerry Sloan.

Magic CEO Alex Martins has said the eventual hire to replace Otis Smith will spearhead the search for a head coach.

That’s the way it should be. If you’re going to have someone lead your basketball operations department, then that individual should have the authority to run the search and, at the minimum, have his final hiring recommendation carry significant weight.

Bower, Hennigan and Lindsey each should have lists of coaching candidates in mind already. Martins and the DeVos family almost certainly asked each GM candidate for his thoughts on potential coaches, and the eventual GM hire needs to move quickly in picking a coach. The Magic shouldn’t go into free agency on July 1 without a coach in place.

The Portland Trail Blazers will hold a coaching search, but all indications are that the Blazers will wait until after the June 28 draft to start that search. That, too, is good news for the Magic.

It’s been said widely that Shaw preferred to work for the Magic or the Blazers over the Bobcats.

Well, of course he did. Charlotte has minimal talent (as shown by their terrible 7-59 record this past season), and Bobcats Owner Michael Jordan has developed a reputation as a cheapskate.

Shaw loved his three seasons as a Magic player in the mid-1990s, and the DeVos family also likes him.

All that said, the Magic owe Jordan a thank you.

The Bobcats’ decision to hire Dunlap leaves the buyers’ market for coaches mostly intact.

The Magic might not want to hire Shaw, but he will be available if the team wants to pursue that avenue.

Follow Josh Robbins on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins and e-mail him at jrobbins@orlandosentinel.com. Subscribe to our Orlando Magic newsletter at OrlandoSentinel.com/joinus.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Orlando MagicPoliticsElectionsCharlotte BobcatsPortland Trail BlazersHuman InterestPatrick Ewing
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