After being brought on last year to attempt to rebuild the Magic, Scott Skiles has decided to step down after just one season at the helm. He led the team to a 35-47 record, the most since 2012, and a ten-win improvement on last year’s mark.
ESPN’s Marc Spears was one of the first to report the resignation and released a copy of Skiles’ statement:
Former Magic coach Scott Skiles says he is "not the right head coach for this team" in statement. pic.twitter.com/Bo264Hfsob
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) May 12, 2016
GM Rob Hennigan went on to say, “while we understand that it was a challenging season, we reluctantly have accepted Scott’s resignation.” He continued, “We appreciate Scott instilling a culture of accountability and certainly wish him and his family well.”
After getting off to a 19-13 start this year, it appeared that the Magic would finally be back in playoff contention. As the season progressed, however, things got way worse. The start of the new year brought a 2-12 record to Orlando, and they wouldn’t post another month with a winning percentage over .500. Regardless of record, you have to be impressed with how Skiles coached the team. He had their offensive and defensive efficiency at it’s best in three years and multiple players like Evan (don’t Google) Fournier, Nikola Vucevic, and Victor Oladipo put together stellar seasons under his watch.
Since they had such a surprise tanking during the season, Orlando is a position to land a lottery pick which they can add to an already super-young team. According to RealGM and their Draft Lottery Simulator, the Magic have a 0.8% chance of landing the first overall pick.
Skiles, if he wants to continue to coach, should be a hot commodity among teams with vacancies. In 14 years coaching, he’s amassed a record of 478-480 and qualified for the playoffs six times.
Obviously, Orlando is going to need a new coach and, if I were them, Frank Vogel would be at the top of my list. He has a defense-first approach that’s similar to Skiles, and would do wonders developing the young talent. Remember, Vogel’s the guy who helped develop Paul George into a two-way superstar.