Coach Jamahl Mosley and Orlando Magic agree on contract extension through 2027-28

Orlando Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley, left, talks to guard Anthony Black (0) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Sunday, March 10, 2024, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Orlando Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley, left, talks to guard Anthony Black (0) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Sunday, March 10, 2024, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Jamahl Mosley made the Orlando Magic a contender. And the Magic want to see what the coach will do next.

Mosley and the playoff-contending Magic — on pace for their best season in 13 years — have agreed on an extension that keeps him under contract in Orlando through the 2027-28 season, the team announced Tuesday.

Mosley is in his third season with Orlando. This year’s team, with All-Star second-year forward Paolo Banchero and rising star Franz Wagner leading a young core, began Tuesday atop the Southeast Division with a 37-28 record and solidly in position for what would be Orlando’s first playoff berth since 2020.

“Jamahl and his staff have done a tremendous job not only this season, but since we hired him back in 2021,” Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said. “His preparation, work ethic, ability to connect with the players and passion he brings to the job every day brings positive results, both on the court and off. We are very happy to have Jamahl lead the Magic for years to come.”

The Magic contending might be viewed as a surprise in some NBA circles this season. But Mosley has insisted, publicly and privately, since even before the season started that this Orlando team would be different. And he was proven right.

“It goes to the character,” Mosley said in a recent interview with The Associated Press. “When you talk about character, and care, and guys that get along and care for each other and communicate with each other the right way, it has nothing to do with basketball. Nothing. There’s a chemistry and camaraderie about this group that no matter what’s happening, they’re with each other. That’s why I had that feeling.

“You have the care factor, the character, and then they started to believe it,” Mosley added. “When you put all those pieces together, they’re going to find a way to pull for each other.”

The 45-year-old Mosley was a candidate for a number of jobs over the years, with teams taking notice of the work he did in 15 years as an assistant in Denver, Cleveland and Dallas. He spent the last seven of those assistant-coaching seasons with the Mavericks, before Orlando hired him in 2021.

He inherited a team in a total rebuilding mode, going 22-60 in his first season. The Magic then got Banchero with the No. 1 overall pick in 2022 and improved by 12 wins last year, going 34-48.

They already have sailed past that win total this season. The Magic haven’t spent a single day in 2023-24 under the .500 mark, with a nine-game winning streak that spanned from mid-November to early December — Mosley winning coach of the month honors in there — marking Orlando as a playoff contender.

He also worked with USA Basketball as its select team coach in Las Vegas before the World Cup in Manila last summer, then traveled overseas to not only be part of that braintrust but also watch Banchero play for the U.S. and Orlando’s Wagner brothers — Franz and Moritz — play for eventual world champion Germany.

And the winning has continued. Banchero was an All-Star for the first time, making him only the second Magic player in the last decade to play in the league’s showcase game. The Magic have one of the league’s newest and most high-tech practice facilities, the AdventHealth Training Center, and the team’s top seven scorers are all 26 and younger — a sure sign that the future is bright in Orlando.

“Everything they need is in this building,” Mosley said. “And if they need it and it’s not here, we’ll get it.”

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