Orlando Magic Rumors: Jamahl Mosley seeks experienced assistant in player devlopment as assistant

The Orlando Magic appear to be putting their coaching staff together beginning with Portland Trail Blazers assistant Nate Tibbetts. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
The Orlando Magic appear to be putting their coaching staff together beginning with Portland Trail Blazers assistant Nate Tibbetts. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic have a lot to get done in a short time before they can truly begin rebuilding the roster.

Coach Jamahl Mosley has settled in a bit and has already begun working with players as they come through the Amway Center. But he has a lot of things to do before the team comes together unofficially for Summer League in early August.

The Magic are still doing draft preparations but they also have to put together a coaching staff to match Mosley’s overall philosophy and fill in some of the gaps in his coaching resume.

Who the Magic hire as an assistant coach will be critical. These are the coaches who will likely do much of the development work on the court — as much as Mosley wants to be on the court with his players. The job of a head coach has a lot more management components.

The assistant coaches will be the ones spreading Mosley’s philosophy and doing the day-to-day work as much as anyone. For a first-year coach, especially, the assistant staff is the first group that shows buy-in to what he is selling.

The Orlando Magic are already beginning to put Jamahl Mosley’s coaching staff together and the focus is on player development with the team’s reported first addition.

Already, Mosley appears to have lined up one member of his staff.

Jake Fischer of Bleacher/Report reports the Magic are expected to hire Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Nate Tibbetts to his staff.

Tibbetts spent the last two years as the Blazers’ associate head coach — essentially the first guy on the bench next to the head coach. He spent the last eight seasons on Terry Stotts’ staff. Nate Tibbetts worked with Jamahl Mosley with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Byron Scott’s staff in 2012 and 2013.

That is their personal connection. But Tibbetts has the exact kind of player development background that you would expect the Magic to be on the hunt for.

Before jumping to the NBA, Tibbetts was the head coach of the Tulsa 66ers in the G-League from 2009-11, going 60-40 overall and 6-7 in the playoffs. He is the most successful coach in the Tulsa 66ers/Oklahoma City Blue franchise history. A group that includes Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault.

Tibbetts has been up for head coaching jobs in the recent past too. He was a candidate for the  Indiana Pacers’ vacancy in 2020 when they hired Nate Bjorkgren. Tibbetts also was a finalist for the Atlanta Hawks’ job in 2018 when they began their rebuild by hiring Lloyd Pierce.

Tibbetts was getting talked as a potential head coach as far back as 2016. Kevin Pelton of ESPN wrote then that the Blazers valued Tibbetts’ ability to add nuance to the gameplan and provide tidbits to their then-young backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.

Tibbetts likely would slot in as the team’s associate head coach. there would be no sense in joining a team like the magic and taking anything resembling a demotion.

But the potential hire points more toward the kind of coach Mosley wants amplifying and distributing his voice and philosophy.

Mosley is looking for coaches with a similar emphasis on communication and player development as he has. At least from someone close to him on the bench, Mosley will have another strong development coach who has worked with star players early in their careers like Damian Lillard and Kyrie Irving.

That experience will be invaluable to this young team. Orlando seems poised to collect some player development coaches. Tibbetts at least has ample experience as an assistant coach too.

Next. Orlando Magic's Draft focus should be on their guy. dark

If this is the direction the Magic are heading with their assistant staff, the Magic should be building a strong development staff.