Scott Skiles, who played for the Orlando Magic during their first five years of existence and has gone on to become a head coach for three different NBA teams, has emerged as the leading candidate to coach the Magic.
A report Saturday by Yahoo Sports said Magic general manager Rob Hennigan has already discussed the opening with several possible candidates and that, according to league sources, contract negotiations with Skiles could be soon forthcoming.
Skiles, 51, has been out of coaching since resigning in early 2013 from the Milwaukee Bucks, where he was said to not have a good working relationship with current Magic forward Tobias Harris. The Magic acquired Harris shortly thereafter, and he will become a restricted free agent July 1.
Skiles took the Phoenix Suns to the playoffs in 2000 and 2001, and he had a three-year postseason run with the Chicago Bulls (2005-07). The only time he got the Bucks into the Eastern Conference playoffs in four full seasons was in 2010, when they lost in seven games to the Atlanta Hawks in the first round.
The report said current Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau might not be of interest to the Magic because of the compensation they would have to pay the Bulls for someone with two years remaining on his current contract. James Borrego coached the Magic on an interim basis and had a 10-20 record over the final 30 games of last season after they fired Jacque Vaughn.
Skiles averaged 12.9 points and 7.2 assists in 384 games with the Magic from 1989 to 1994 and still holds the NBA record for most assists in a game with 30, which he set in December 1990.