Orlando Magic offer job to Stan Van Gundy to replace Billy Donovan
Stan Van Gundy wants to coach in Orlando, but Heat President Pat Riley wants compensation.
Brian Schmitz | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted June 6, 2007
The Orlando Magic have offered Stan Van Gundy the job as head coach to replace Billy Donovan, but his team -- the Miami Heat -- could hold up the deal.
Sources close to the situation told the Sentinel that the Heat entered the Magic's bizarre coaching saga Tuesday, threatening to possibly ask for compensation from the Magic for Van Gundy.
Van Gundy has a year left on his contract as a consultant with the Heat.
Heat Coach and President Pat Riley could demand draft picks from the Magic for Van Gundy, who was replaced by Riley as Miami coach in December 2005.
The Magic want Van Gundy to replace Donovan, who asked out of his contract with the team last weekend after signing a five-year, $27.5 million deal on Friday in Orlando.
Legal representatives for the Magic and Donovan were in contact Tuesday, but no settlement had been announced by the close of the business day. The parties negotiated late into the evening.
ESPN.com reported that Donovan and the Magic agreed in principle on a settlement. However, a source with the Magic told the Sentinel the deal was not complete. The source described the settlement as "close" but still waiting for signatures and possible changes. The team expects to release a statement today.
The Magic were trying to get Donovan to agree to a five-year, non-compete clause during the negotiations, meaning he could not coach another NBA team for that span.
A resolution would allow Donovan, 42, to return to coaching the Florida Gators by accepting UF's long-proposed contract extension.
The Magic finally gave up hope of persuading Donovan to change his mind after speaking with him several times Monday.
The Magic are under pressure to clear the way for Van Gundy, who has another offer on the table from the Sacramento Kings. He has interviewed with the Kings twice, as recently as last weekend in Las Vegas.
Van Gundy wanted the Magic to resolve the Donovan situation before taking the job. He apparently called the league to find out what might happen if he signed with Orlando . . . and Donovan suddenly wanted to come back to the Magic before breaking his contract.
Van Gundy was the Magic's runner-up choice to Donovan. He prefers to coach the Magic and stay in Florida, but he doesn't want to miss the opportunity with the Kings. He set a tentative deadline for today to take one of the jobs.
Van Gundy, brother of former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy, also was offered the head coaching position with the Indiana Pacers, but said he turned down the job.
If the Heat are seeking compensation for Van Gundy, the Magic this year have only three second-round picks heading into the June 28 draft.
They don't have a first-round pick this year, having traded it to the Detroit Pistons in February 2006. The Magic dealt center Kelvin Cato and the pick to the Pistons for point guard Carlos Arroyo and power forward Darko Milicic.