ORLANDO — The Magic and coach Steve Clifford mutually parted ways as the timeline for the team to become a true competitor again didn’t align with where Clifford is as a veteran coach. Despite the presumed rebuild, team president Jeff Weltman indicated FortyEightMinutes and other media that he believes Orlando will be an “attractive destination.”
“I can tell you that I think it’s going to be an attractive destination. But I know it is,” Weltman told FortyEightMinutes while adding that he’s already received calls on the opening.
— Rob Parks Jr. (@Rparksjr85) June 5, 2021
Weltman wouldn’t get into specifics about potential candidates, including Penny Hardaway, who he was asked about during the zoom call on Saturday afternoon.
Weltman added that the decision came together rather quickly, stating the agreement was reached on Saturday morning while admitting the timing of other teams’ coaching decisions played a role. There’s also a possibility that Clifford wanted to coach elsewhere was a factor.
“That’s up for him to decide and speak on…the timeline is the most significant part our discussion. Clifford’s place that he has and where he is in his career,” Weltman added.
Weltman also indicated that he understands the narrative of Clifford wanting to leave after the Magic’s trade deadline moves. Orlando dealt Nikola Vucevic to the Bulls and Aaron Gordan to the Nuggets in a pair of deals that loaded the franchise up on young players and draft picks but left it a ways away from being a serious competitor.
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