The criteria for the next Orlando Magic head coach

Mar 16, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Orlando Magic head coach Scott Skiles draws up a play with guard Mario Hezonja (23) in the second half against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena. The Hornets defeated the Magic 107-99. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 16, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Orlando Magic head coach Scott Skiles draws up a play with guard Mario Hezonja (23) in the second half against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena. The Hornets defeated the Magic 107-99. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports /

As the search for the next Orlando Magic coach begins, it is paramount the Magic make the right decision because their future depends on it.

With the shocking news of Scott Skiles‘ resignation, the Orlando Magic are yet again searching for a new head coach. The Magic desperately need the right leader to build this roster and become a perennial playoff contender.

Scott Skiles was not the man for that task. He was brought in to immediately improve this defense and get the Magic back into the playoffs. A quick turn-around is not something such a young team should be focused on. The long-term should be in the spotlight of the Magic’s plan, while still building some wins and improvement during the season.

Following Skiles’ abrupt departure, Orlando must pivot quickly to find a coach that can not only develop the current players on the roster, but hopefully help recruit players in this ever-so-important free agency period for Orlando.

On Thursday, Rob Hennigan held a press conference after the resignation of Scott Skiles and discussed the characteristics of the coach he wants in Orlando.

“We want someone who will continue to push us forward; place an emphasis on the defensive end of the floor; figure out a way to continue developing our players; and, as we continue to add pieces, assemble a highly competitive team,” Hennigan said.

Now, these general characteristics lay a great foundation of who the perfect coaching fit in Orlando would be.

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To begin, the Magic desperately need to continue to improve on defense. They have stout individual defenders in Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, but overall the team lacks interior defense and that has hindered their process of growth. Hiring a coach known for his defensive schemes makes a ton of sense in Orlando.

The Magic looked for Skiles to make major changes to the defense and have the team drastically improve. The Magic did not show that growth. They remained a poor defensive team. But, to be fair, the blame has to be shared with the roster as well. Next season the new head coach needs to make major improvements if the team wants to win.

Last season, Skiles was known to avoid playing rookies and those who did not play defense the way he intended. Even if that player was pretty good defensively. The next coach cannot be afraid to take a chance on the youth.

For example, Mario Hezonja has a plethora of offensive tools but defensively, he is still learning what he is doing. This was expected however, a 20-year-old combo guard out of Croatia will have to adjust to the speed of the NBA. Skiles seemed to push him deeper into the rotation and not give him the chance to see the floor.

The next Magic coach will need to accept the bumps and minor roadblocks rookies and young players are known to have.

Frank Vogel, Indiana Pacers
Mar 2, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Indiana won 104-99. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Similar to the point of allowing the youth to grow, player development is a huge key for the Magic. Last season, Aaron Gordon exploded onto the scene following the all-star break and Evan Fournier proved to be a valuable piece. This trend will need to continue and the right coach can make the happen.

Next year, the Magic will look for multiple players to take the next step. Mario Hezonja will be looking for a larger in the rotation and Elfrid Payton needs to show he is the point guard of the future.

Frank Vogel is the candidate that stands out in regards to player development.

Vogel was a big part in Paul George‘s development who is now one of the top players in the league. Vogel can help push Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon to their potential.

Although it may seem like ages ago, Vogel made Roy Hibbert into the center that the Lebron James-led Miami Heat feared. As well as helping George Hill become a solid starting guard.

Vogel is high on every team’s list that has a coaching vacancy but the Magic are an appealing team. With the youthful roster and a boatload of cap space, a guy like Vogel can build a great roster

This free-agency period is crucial for the Magic. With enough cap room to bring in two max-contract players, Orlando can make a huge leap into contention in a wide-open east. There is no competing with Los Angeles, Chicago or New York in trying to win over players in regards to market size. The Magic do have one thing that many teams do not: a strong future.

The Magic’s free agency pitch is pretty obvious. They will display their young talent and potential to free agents that are looking to win and collect a big paycheck while doing it. This is where the Magic’s coaching decision is so integral.

If the Magic can get a coach players would like to get a chance to play for and believe in, it increases their chances of getting a high-level player. Getting a recruiter needs to be high on the Magic’s list of traits.

Adrian Griffin, a long-time NBA assistant who is highly regarded around the league or Mark Jackson, a former player are two names that players could trust and want to play for.

A proven winning formula could play a part too. The Magic front office may not take a risk on an assistant because of the fear of failing. They could bring in a coach who has been there, done that time and time again. Former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt defines the winning formula. He had major success in Europe and in the NBA despite clashes with LeBron James, Blatt has the experience of the playoffs too. He just may need a team that fits his eye — and he was originally brought in to lead a young Cavaliers team.

All things considered, Frank Vogel would probably be the best fit in Orlando. A defensive-minded coach who can develop players are the two areas Orlando will be focused on in its search. Vogel also has a proven track record that free agents trust.

Next: Scott Skiles resignation catches Orlando Magic by surprise

Whomever the Magic decide to go with, he must be able to develop players and give this roster an identity. Orlando is currently in the middle of make-or-break offseason. And with their search for a head coach underway, this will be a wild summer for the Magic.