For weeks, NBA insiders presumed that Golden State Warriors lead assistant coach Michael Malone and Indiana Pacers associate head coach Brian Shaw were the favorites to become the Orlando Magic's new head coach.
Not after Malone and Shaw fell out of the mix Sunday.
Magic general manager Rob Hennigan informed Malone that Malone is no longer being considered, Malone's agent, Steve Kauffman, told the Orlando Sentinel. Meanwhile, a source close to Shaw said that Shaw withdrew from the search.
The new front-runner for the Magic job now might be San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Jacque Vaughn, a former Magic player who played for the Spurs when Hennigan worked in the Spurs' front office.
Hennigan also interviewed three others over the last week: Philadelphia 76ers associate head coach Michael Curry, Utah Jazz assistant coach Jeff Hornacek and Phoenix Suns player development coach Lindsey Hunter.
Hennigan did not return messages Sunday, and it's unclear which candidates he is still considering or whether he has added any names to his list.
But Hennigan eventually will whittle his list to two or three people for second-round interviews by Magic CEO Alex Martins. From there, Hennigan and Martins will narrow the list to one or two finalists for interviews by the DeVos family in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Malone, 41, just completed his first season with the Warriors, and before that, he held assistant-coaching positions with the New Orleans Hornets and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Shaw, 46, just finished his first season with the Pacers.
Previously, Shaw worked as a Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach for seven seasons. Shaw played 14 seasons in the NBA, including three with the Magic in the mid-1990s.
Malone and Shaw are highly regarded among league executives. At the beginning of the 2011-12 season, in an annual wide-ranging survey conducted by NBA.com, league general managers were asked to name the league's top assistant coach.
Malone finished first, with 29 percent of the vote. Shaw placed second, with 21 percent of the vote.
Malone and Shaw are being considered for the Portland Trail Blazers' coaching vacancy.
At 37 years old, Vaughn is the youngest of the people known to have been interviewed by the Magic.
A former point guard, he played 12 seasons in the NBA. He played for the Magic in 2002-03.
He spent the final three years of his playing career with the Spurs and appeared in all 20 of San Antonio's playoff games in 2007, the year the Spurs won their most recent NBA title.
Part of Hennigan's Spurs tenure overlapped with Vaughn's.
Vaughn just completed his second season as a San Antonio assistant coach.
Hunter, 41, never has been an NBA assistant coach.
But he played 17 seasons in the league, most of them for the Detroit Pistons. New Magic assistant general manager Scott Perry used to work for the Pistons and knows Hunter well.
Hornacek, 49, just completed his first full season as a Jazz assistant coach. He played a total of 14 NBA seasons for the Suns, the 76ers and the Jazz.
Curry, 43, played 11 seasons in the NBA.
He also has one year of NBA head-coaching experience. In 2008-09, the Pistons went 39-43 with him at the helm. He, too, knows Perry well.
SI.com first reported that Shaw is no longer a candidate for the Magic job.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Sentinel staff writer Brian Schmitz contributed to this report. Read their blog at OrlandoSentinel.com/magicblog. Subscribe to our Orlando Magic newsletter at OrlandoSentinel.com/joinus.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun