The Orlando Magic have chosen to make Dallas Mavericks assistant Jamahl Mosley their next head coach, the team announced Sunday. Mosley became a strong front-runner for the position last week, separating himself from the pack of candidates to secure the role.
"We would like to welcome Jamahl and his family to the Magic family," said team president Jeff Weltman. "Within the NBA coaching community, Jamahl is considered a rising star. His coaching path is rooted in player development. He is a communicator and connector, and we look forward to him leading our group."
This will be Mosley's first head-coaching gig, after being an assistant around the league for the Mavericks, Cavaliers and Nuggets since 2005. He spent the past seven years as an assistant under Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, and was elevated to associate head coach during that time. He became defensive coordinator for the Mavericks in the last few years, and coached Dallas' summer league team for three summers.
Mosley's a well-respected coach who is known for establishing solid relationships with his players, most recently with Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic, who has advocated for him in the past in becoming a head coach in the NBA. Mosley was expected to be the front-runner for the Mavericks' head-coaching job after Carlisle stepped down and eventually became the head coach of the Indiana Pacers. However, Dallas had its sights set on Lakers assistant Jason Kidd, and after Carlisle publicly endorsed the move, it showed the Mavericks' cards early and hinted that Mosley wasn't who they wanted for the job.
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While he won't be coaching a Mavericks team ready to compete for a championship right now, Mosley will instead head to Orlando where the team is entering a full rebuild after trading away several assets this season. The Magic traded Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier to make way for the slew of young players on their roster and signal to the rest of the league that they are going into full rebuilding mode.
Mosley will be tasked with developing young players like Jonathan Isaac, RJ Hampton, Markelle Fultz, Wendell Carter Jr., Cole Anthony and Chuma Okeke to assess what talent the Magic really have. Orlando was reportedly impressed with Mosley's reputation in player development, and his knack for fostering strong relationships with players, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, so it shouldn't be difficult for him to help along these young guys once he's full engrained in the organization.
For the Magic, they've found the coach to lead them through their rebuild after parting ways with Steve Clifford last month. On top of the wealth of young players already on Orlando's roster, the team also has the No. 5 and No. 8 picks in the upcoming NBA Draft to supplement Mosley with even more young talent to work with. Joining a team that doesn't expect winning results right away is an ideal situation for Mosley, as he will be given time develop as a head coach himself before any significant pressure is placed on him.