Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin remains the top current target in Orlando’s search for a new president of basketball operations, but at least three more candidates have emerged for the Magic, according to league sources.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Magic have interest in Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond, Toronto Raptors general manager Jeff Weltman and former Minnesota Timberwolves president and Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale.
USA Today first reported Orlando’s interest in McHale last week.
The Magic have said they’re looking to hire a president of basketball operations as well as a full-time GM to work under him, with acting GM Matt Lloyd also expected to receive consideration to stay with the team.
ESPN reported last month that former Magic star Grant Hill was Orlando’s initial top target to succeed the ousted Rob Hennigan and take over as president of basketball operations, but sources say that Hill has made it clear he has no plans to leave his current post as a minority owner with the Atlanta Hawks. ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst reported last week that the Magic intend to make an offer to Griffin, but sources say Orlando also knows it won’t be able to speak to Griffin until after Cleveland’s current playoff run.
Griffin is in the final year of his current deal but remains without a contract extension from the Cavaliers despite his role in helping them win the franchise’s first championship last season.
Orlando was widely expected to gauge the interest of former Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird as well, just as it did in 2012 before hiring Hennigan. But Bird said Monday in discussing his sudden resignation from the Pacers that he’s looking “to do other things away from basketball” at age 60.
Bird also said he intends to stay with the Pacers in an advisory role after ceding control of Indiana’s front office to Kevin Pritchard.
Magic CEO Alex Martins, speaking to the Orlando Sentinel, said this week of the team’s search: “As we’ve said from the outset, we don’t expect a quick decision or a quick resolution due to the fact that there are some executives involved in the playoffs that we’re interested in speaking to and most likely we will not be granted permission [to speak with them] until those teams have been eliminated from the playoffs.
“In light of that, we’re moving along well and we’ve been going through our process,” Martins added. “And we will not conclude it until we have the opportunity to speak to those individuals.”
Hennigan and assistant general manager Scott Perry were dismissed on April 13, one day after Orlando wrapped up its fifth consecutive non-playoff season. Perry subsequently landed a front-office post with the Sacramento Kings under GM Vlade Divac.