UPDATE: Statement from Scott Skiles and GM Rob Hennigan:
“After much thought and careful consideration, I and I alone, have come to the conclusion that I am not the right head coach for this team. Therefore, effective immediately, I resign my position as head coach of the Orlando Magic. I realise this type of decision can cause much speculation. The reality though is in the first sentence. it is simple and true. Any other rumours are pure conjecture.”
“I sincerely apologise for any unintended consequences that may adversely affect anyone associated with this decision. The Magic are a world-class organisation that employs world-class people. I wish them nothing but great success. I will always be thankful, especially to the DeVos family, for the opportunity.”
General Manager Rob Hennigan commented: “While we understand it was a challenging season, we reluctantly accepted Scott’s resignation. We appreciate Scott instilling a culture of accountability and certainly wish him and his family well.”
Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel has reported that Magic head coach Scott Skiles has resigned after just one season with the team.
Skiles lead the team to a 35-47 record, the franchise’s worst since the 2010/11 campaign, Dwight Howard’s second last season with the team.
While few expected the Magic to actually make the playoffs, some predicted that they had a squad capable of at least challenging for the eighth seed.
In a relatively weakened Eastern Conference, the young core of Aaron Gordon, Elfried Payton and Victor Oladipo may have squeezed into the final playoff spot if luck broke their way.
Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris were a competent tandem that had a very rare opportunity to develop alongside one another but Magic General Manager Rob Hennigan had other ideas.
Trading away Harris for the expiring contracts Ersan Ilyasova and Brandon Jennings indicates a change of tact for the franchise.
Instead of developing their promising young core, it seems that the team is looking to make a splash in free agency this offseason.
And as Zach Lowe of ESPN has pointed out a number of times – this offseason is the absolute worst time to have cap space… because every team has cap space.
The new television deal will see the cap jump to roughly $90million, enough for two max contract players and a decent supporting cast.
But are the Orlando Magic serious about signing someone this offseason?
Rumours suggest that Dwight Howard could be making his way back home but outside of that there have been very little reports even remotely suggesting that someone could be making their way down to Florida.
LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Hassan Whiteside, DeMar DeRozan. These are all players who won’t be signing with the team.
Which makes Scott Skiles’ decision even more perplexing. The former Orlando player could be stepping down so a better equipped coach could handle the stress of free agency this offseason.
Or did Skiles not believe in the vision that Hennigan projected for Orlando?