With or without Dwight Howard, the Orlando Magic will need a head coach at some point.
But their list of candidates grew shorter Sunday, when a source close to Indiana assistant Brian Shaw told SI.com that he removed himself from consideration and the agent for Golden State assistant Michael Malone, Steve Kauffman, confirmed that his client is no longer in the race. While both candidates were seen as possible finalists, the Magic have not made a final decision and are expected to continue their search process in the coming weeks.
San Antonio assistant Jacque Vaughn is seen by at least one of the former candidate's camps as the frontrunner, though Bulls player development coach Lindsey Hunter, Jazz assistant Jeff Hornacek and Sixers assistant Michael Curry remain in the running as well. Shaw and Malone are still considered candidates for the vacancy in Portland, with interviews for that job expected to begin this week.
Yet with new general manager and former Oklahoma City executive Rob Hennigan looking to build the Magic in much the same way the Thunder and Spurs have been constructed, Vaughn has emerged as an intriguing candidate. He spent his last three playing seasons with the Spurs as a reserve guard before joining Gregg Popovich's staff.
Sources say the Magic were expected to internally name finalists last Wednesday, but that the ongoing Howard situation delayed that timeline.
The next round of interviews are expected to involve team president Alex Martins and will be followed by interviews that include the DeVos family that owns the team. The Orlando Sentinel first reported Malone's removal from the search.