Steve Clifford, Magic mutually agree to part ways
Former Orlando Magic head coach Steve Clifford. Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Clifford, Magic mutually agree to part ways after three seasons

As the Orlando Magic enter a rebuilding period, the franchise announced Saturday that they have mutually agreed to part ways with head coach Steve Clifford after three seasons. 

The Magic hired Clifford in May 2018, nearly two months after he was fired by the Charlotte Hornets. The 59-year-old helped the team turn things around in his first season at the helm. 

Orlando won the Southeast Division in 2018-19 for the first time in nine years and made the playoffs for the first time in seven years. Despite losing to the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs, it looked like Clifford had the Magic on the right path. 

Things took a turn for the worse in 2019-20, with the Magic owning a 33-40 record. During the 2020-21 season, Orlando went 21-51, its worst record since the 2017-18 campaign. 

Before the trade deadline, Orlando hinted at rebuilding by trading Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier. The Magic received Wendell Carter Jr., Gary Harris and R.J. Hampton in those trades, as well as three future first-round draft picks. 

With Clifford gone, Orlando reportedly has interest in former Portland Trail Blazers bench boss Terry Stotts, who was fired on Friday. 

Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bridgewater State University and currently is in pursuit of her Master's Degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90.

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