ORLANDO, Fla. - Local 6 Sports Director David Pingalore has learned the Orlando Magic have narrowed their head coaching search in the past few days.
Pingalore was informed by multiple sources on Tuesday that the San Antonio Spurs number one assistant Mike Budenholzer is the number one Magic head coaching candidate.
The other front runner for the Magic is Oklahoma City assistant coach Maurice "Mo" Cheeks.
Pingalore was told that Budenholzer is considered the front runner for the job.
"He is the real deal," a source told Pingalore. "There aren't many coaches out there like this guy who comes from a phenomenal franchise."
Budenholzer is in 18th season with the Spurs.
The downside to Budenholzer is that he is in line to be the Popovich's replacement.
"He's (Budenholzer) a can't miss," said an NBA executive.
Cheeks, who has head coaching experience with Portland (2001-2005) and Philadelphia (2007-2008), is "highly regarded," according to Pingalore's sources, with new Magic GM Rob Hennigan, who came from the Thunder.
Pingalore's sources said Hennigan has two phenomenal people to choose from.
Pingalore's sources also said that Pacers assistant Brian Shaw and Warriors assistant Mike Malone are behind Budenholzer and Cheeks to replace Stan Van Gundy.
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