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Orlando Magic's Jeff Weltman says coach Frank Vogel's job is safe

From NBA media reports

Coach Frank Vogel achieved a high level of success as coach of the Indiana Pacers in his five-plus seasons there, going 250-181 and making back-to-back Eastern Conference finals. When the Orlando Magic hired him on before the start of the 2016-17 season with a young roster much like the one he inherited in Indiana in 2010-11, they likely had visions of a similar run of success.

Vogel is 41-80 as of this morning and the Magic are 7 1/2 games out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference — a surprising record after their solid 8-4 start to 2017-18. In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel‘s Josh Robbins, Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said Vogel’s job is secure and that he and the team know the trade deadline could lead to changes on the roster:

OS: What’s your opinion of Frank Vogel’s job performance? Is it possible to evaluate him given all the injuries?

Weltman: I think Frank’s done a good job considering that he’s been dealt a difficult hand right now. It’s hard when we’re second in the league in the number of starting lineups that we’ve rolled out. That’s largely due to the health problems that we’ve faced this year. It makes it challenging for a coach to deal with consistencies and rotations and short-hand languages and terminologies when it’s different people on the floor a lot. Especially, a lot of our injuries have been to really key players. There was one night where we were playing without four of our five starters. That’s tough.

OS: Is his job safe for next season?

Weltman: Yes. When I say that Frank’s done a good job, then as far as I’m concerned, I put that over on the side and say, “Frank’s done a good job. Let’s look where we can improve.” And that doesn’t mean that Frank can’t get better. I’m sure Frank will tell you the same thing himself just as I myself every day, after I drive home, ask myself, “What could I have done better today?” We can all do better. But Frank’s done a good job. If you’re asking me, “Is he safe?” Yes, sure. But that doesn’t mean that we’re not all going to be challenged to do better. That’s every part of the organization.

OS: How will you approach the trade deadline on Feb. 8?

Weltman: I think we approach it just like I said. We’re trying to evaluate everything, trying to understand where we are as a team, trying to set a course with that. Right now, the trade deadline is just coming on the radar for teams. Teams are starting to touch base now and circle back to one another. We’re all starting to figure out which teams are trying to do what — what directions they want to send themselves in — and how we all value one another’s players and where the discussion partners are. That’s the stage that we’re in right now. That’ll change as we go forward. Generally, if history is any indicator, it won’t be until closer to the deadline that we really have any real answers for each other.

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