5 candidates for the Orlando Magic’s latest coaching search

3 of 6
Damian Lillard, David Vanterpool, Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard has credited David Vanterpool for helping him in his development. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

David Vanterpool

There are a lot of assistant coaches in waiting who the Orlando Magic should look at that have a proven track record of assisting teams that have met a lot of success and a pedigree for developing players.

None should be higher on that list than former Portland Trail Blazers and Minnesota Timberwolves assistant coach David Vanterpool.

His reputation in the league for developing players is pretty sterling. Damian Lillard credits David Vanterpool a lot for his development into a superstar player and other players on that roster credit the work Vanterpool did for them.

That is a pretty big sign-off. So too was the disappointment when the Timberwolves opted not to promote David Vanterpool to the lead job when they fired Ryan Saunders before hiring Chris Finch. Vanterpool resigned mid-season rather than stay on Finch’s staff.

Vanterpool has been knocking on the door for a head coaching job for a long time. The Magic have interviewed him for each of their last two head coaching vacancies. It is not that Vanterpool has not been at the table or is not ready for the head coaching job.

This feels like a perfect team to give him his first head coaching job. The Magic are in need of someone with a modern offensive sensibility and someone who can work to develop the young players on their roster. That is something Vanterpool can provide with his experience in the league so far.

Any first-time coach will have to lay out a detailed plan of their process and have clear ideas of how to execute this plan. They also need to make sure they have a good assisting staff — probably even with one former head coach on the bench next to him or her — as they take on the added responsibilities of a head coach.

But Vanterpool has been waiting for his chance. His track record of development is good. He should get his opportunity sooner than later.

Other Assistants to consider: Sam Cassell, Dan Craig, Wes Unseld Jr.