Report: Orlando Magic “optimistic” they are front runners for Frank Vogel


Frank Vogel is in demand.

Well, not in Indiana, where Larry Bird let him go as coach because he’d been around too long, but in every other place with a coaching vacancy. Vogel has options, particularly between Memphis and Orlando.

But Orlando is confident they have the upper hand, reports Marc Stein and Chris Broussard of ESPN. Well, if Orlando wants Vogel.

Sources told on Wednesday night that the Magic believe they have emerged as Vogel’s preferred destination and are positioned to quickly complete a deal with him if their coaching search continues to progress in its current direction.

Orlando officials, sources say, have spent the bulk of the week trying to decide between Vogel and highly rated ‎Magic assistant Adrian Griffin but know they have to move quickly if they want Vogel, given the strong interest he has received from the Grizzlies.

There is buzz around the league that Griffin may be the real frontrunner for the Magic job, but the front office seems torn (or divided). However, the fact Memphis wants Vogel puts a timeline on Orlando to make up its mind.

Vogel us understandably intrigued by a young Magic roster with Nikola Vucevic, Victor Oladipo, Aaron Gordon, Elfrid Payton, Mario Hezonja, and whoever the team picks at No. 11 this NBA Draft. That young, talented roster is what drew Scott Skiles to the job, but he became less fond of the talent when it went from on paper to the court. His disagreements with management over players — with Payton being the most prominent — led to his resignation.

If the Magic choose Vogel, what will Memphis do?

Sources say that the Grizzlies, meanwhile, have been most impressed by San Antonio Spurs assistant coach James Borrego and Miami Heat assistant coach David ‎Fizdale, among the other interviews they’ve completed while waiting out Vogel’s talks this week with the Magic.