Jacque Vaughn during his long NBA career.
The Orlando Magic announced Jacque Vaughn as the team's head coach Monday afternoon. Before joining the Magic as the franchise's head coach, Vaughn was an assistant to Gregg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs. This is Vaughn's first head coaching job at any level.
Vaughn played 13 years in the NBA, bouncing around between the Utah Jazz, Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic, New Jersey Nets and San Antonio Spurs. He averaged 4.5 points, 1.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in his career.
Vaughn finds himself in uncharted waters as a team head coach for the first time.
His job won't be made easier by the current hostage situation in which Dwight Howard is holding the franchise. With a trade possible, likely or imminent, depending on which report you read, the Magic roster on opening day could be drastically different from what it is today.
During his introductory press conference, Vaughn was asked about the Howard situation and if he had talked to the player.
I have not talked to Dwight, but I have not talked to any Magic players at all. I’ve been on the outside looking in. Now I’m a part of the inner circle. Those things are probably to come and I look forward to talking to every Magic player that we have (via Hoops World).
Those conversations are sure to be interesting as Vaughn really has no idea whether the players will be on the team or not. It makes his job a lot tougher, as he will need to ask the players to buy into a system at at time when so much turmoil surrounds the franchise.
If the front office of the organization is serious about helping Vaughn succeed, they need to make a move on Howard as soon as possible. This will allow Vaughn to ready his troops and to begin working with what he will have on opening night.
Running a system around Dwight Howard is certainly different than running a system based on whatever prospects the Houston Rockets or Cleveland Cavs may have to offer. The longer they wait to make a trade, the more it will negatively impact the beginning of Vaughn's Magic career.
One of Vaughn's first moves might be bringing in Lindsey Hunter as an assistant coach. Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio is reporting that Hunter is likely to join the Magic.
Latest NBA buzz says Lindsey Hunter likely on way to Magic as assistant coach and Eddie Jordan to Lakers in same role.
— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) July 30, 2012
This would be a nice steal from the Phoenix Suns, where Hunter was once a player-development coach.
Throughout his 17-year career, Hunter proved his high basketball IQ. There is no question that Hunter will be a positive addition to Vaughn's staff.