Orlando Magic facing stiff competition for league’s best coaches

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Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics
Brad Stevens has some big decisions to make after moving from the Boston Celtics’ bench to the front office. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports /

With Steve Clifford and the Orlando Magic agreeing to go in different directions, Orlando now finds itself with a need for a new head coach.

Although the Magic find themselves in a good spot with load of young talent and the top odds to win Tuesday’s NBA Draft Lottery, there are several other teams in the NBA that have an open position for a head coach and better immediate prospects.

Whoever takes the Magic’s job is going to have to be patient with a young roster. The wins may not come immediately.

The Orlando Magic have a lot of young players to work with. But with so many open jobs especially among playoff teams, the Magic are going to be lower on the draft pecking order.

With Rick Carlisle stepping down as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, there are now seven open spots. And as the playoffs continue, there may be more opening soon.

Some questions pertain to this coaching search, but the most important question is where does Magic’s job ranks among the other coaching positions around the league.

1. Boston Celtics

The best job that is available as of now has to be the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics have two young stars in Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, and both are younger than 24 with both becoming elite scorers. Tatum averaged 26.4 points per game and Brown averaged 24.7 points per game as both made the All-Star team.

Their roster is not complete as recently promoted president of basketball operations Brad Stevens has already started to make changes.

The Celtics essentially traded Kemba Walker and the 16th pick in this NBA draft for Al Horford and Moses Brown. With Horford returning, the Celtics gain size with the ability to spread the floor and create opportunities for teammates to score.

Even though the Celtics lose immediate scoring in Walker, this opens the door for emerging Payton Pritchard, who averaged 7.7 points per game and 1.8 assists in only 19.2 minutes per game. While the numbers do not jump out, the promising part is the fact that he shot 44-percent from the field, 41.1-percent from three, and 88.9-percent from the free-throw line. It is likely that once Pritchard gets more minutes and more opportunities to do more he will take the next step and be a capable starter.

Boston’s roster allows a new coach to compete now and for the future. The Celtics also have veterans on their roster who play with a fire that inspire the younger guys that create a will to win. Players like Marcus Smart, who is considered to be the heart of the Celtics, and now Evan Fournier create a balance between the young and veteran players.

Boston having the roster to compete now and down the line creates the ideal situation for a coach. The offseason just started, so the roster is not complete, but the foundations are already being set for the Celtics to build the right roster around their young stars.