Orlando Magic closes in on Dallas Mavericks assistant Jamahl Mosley, who has emerged as the strong front-runner to become the franchise’s next head coach, sources told ESPN on Thursday.
Talks are underway, but Mosley (42) has differed in the organization’s search process, sources tell ESPN.
As Magic moves into a complete rebuild with a list of young players and the fifth and eighth overall picks in this month’s NBA Draft, Mosley’s reputation in player development and his ability to build relationships and hold players accountable has resonated with Magic management, sources said.
The Magic replaces Steve Clifford, who split from the team last month. The Magic had reached the playoffs in consecutive years before trade deadlines including All-Star Nikola Vucevic (Chicago) and Evan Fournier (Boston) moved them to a state of reconstruction.
Mosley’s role with the Mavericks over the last seven years has especially included his close connection and effective work with All-NBA guard Luka Doncic. After Mosley replaced Rick Carlisle in quarantine for a Mavericks victory at Madison Square Garden, Doncic told Mosley reporters, “He has the things needed for a head coach.”
Mosley had also emerged as a finalist for the Wizards’ head coaching job, sources told ESPN. For the past two years, Mosley has become a serious challenger for vacancies and is now on the verge of breaking through to become Magic’s coach.
Mosley spent the last seven years with the Mavericks under Carlisle, lifting to the associated head coach role. Mosley spent four years with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2010-2014) and Denver Nuggets (2005-2010). Mosley’s offensive philosophy has been shaped by two Hall of Fame coaches – George Karl and Carlisle.
Mosley was pulled from the University of Colorado in 2005 and played abroad for four years before embarking on his first NBA job: a player development role with the Nuggets.
In addition to the two lottery picks in the deep draft, Magic has a young core of players that includes recent first-round picks Cole Anthony, Chuma Okeke, Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr. Magic could potentially have $ 30 million in payroll capacity to spend in free agency.