According to Wojnarowski's report, Skiles "has clearly separated himself" from several other candidates with whom Magic GM Rob Hennigan has spoken.
Discussions "could soon advance into contract negotiations," and Magic ownership remains a fan of Skiles' after his playing days with the club in the 1990s. Skiles still lives in the Orlando area.
Skiles, 51, holds a 443-433 record (18-24 in the playoffs) in 13 seasons coaching the Suns, Bulls and Bucks. The coach is known for his workmanlike approach and his ability to help turn teams around. He took Chicago from 19 wins in 2004 to 47 in 2005, his first two seasons there. After he took over Milwaukee, the team leapt from 34 wins to 46 from 2009 to 2010.
"Skiles fits the candidate profile that Hennigan privately outlined for the coaching search," Wojnarowski wrote, "a successful head-coaching résumé that includes strong emphasis on upgrading Orlando’s defense and accountability."
Orlando has interest in Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau but is reluctant to sacrifice draft pick compensation for his services. The Magic fired Jacques Vaughn in February, replaced him with interim coach James Borrego and went 25-57.
- Jeremy Woo