Monday, August 13th, 2012 at 9:45 am  |  32 responses

Orlando Magic Will Try to Build Team Through Draft

With the departure of superstar center Dwight Howard, the Orlando Magic are now in a state of flux. In order to build the team from the ground up, Magic executives will try to stockpile as much young talent as possible, primarily through the NBA Draft. That’s not to say Orlando won’t pursue a big-name free agent at some point, but for now, it seems GM Rob Hennigan will take an OKC Thunder/San Antonio Spurs approach. More details, via the Orlando Sentinel: “‘We’re not turning our back on free agency,’ said Magic CEO Alex Martins. ‘We’re just putting the emphasis on our draft that we feel should be the case.’ The Magic could have enough salary-cap space to offer a maximum-level deal in free agency next summer, when Thunder shooting guard James Harden is scheduled to become a restricted free agent and Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith is slated to reach unrestricted free agency. New general manager Rob Hennigan started his front-office career with the Spurs and the Thunder, and it’s assumed that he will build almost exclusively through the draft instead of through free agency. He insisted that’s not necessarily the case. ‘I think that we’re pliable and we’ve set ourselves up to look at both avenues,’ he said.”

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  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    What draft picks? The picks they got from LA and NJ will most likely be late-1st Round picks. The magic are basically trying to save face with whatever is left of their fanbase.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    He also forgets that SA and OKC become contenders after drafting superstars KD/TD 1st and 2nd overall respectively.

  • john

    looking to sign Harden or Smith in free agency isn’t going to help a franchise like Orlando out.

  • LA Huey

    He also forgets that SA drafted Duncan into an already contending core of Admiral, Sean Elliot, and Avery Johnson AND OKC was lousy enough for the two years after drafting Durant to luck into Westbrook and Harden while also finding late 1st round luck with Ibaka.

  • RunNGun

    Build through the draft? If they plan to follow the Supersonics model, you can only do that with tradeable assets, lottery draft picks, and lucking out on that “once in a blue moon” player like Kevin Durant. The draft picks that Orlando acquired are heavily protected picks and will more than likely become late first rounders. This Hennigan tool makes David Kahn look more and more like a genius. He should have taken the Nets deal which would at least given him some solid pieces to build around and quickly move (like Humphries’s one-year contract). Need to find a meme for Hennigan…

  • andrew

    isn’t Dwight their draft pick?

  • http://www.dimemag.com showtime

    Hennigan is just a Rook that got took & folded.. Cavs,Rockets Nj, Atl and many other teams had better assests or draft picks or space. Houston was given up J.lamb plus t.jones plus unprotected lottery fron the Raps.. come On Son

  • Fresh Boirdee

    Personally I would have taken the NJ trade, possibly kept Lopez and or Brooks. Or kept Brooks and traded Lopez and Humphries to a team that is guaranteed a higher first round draft choice than LA. I mean everything that was on the table and they end up with Aaron Afflalo!?! I know that they have to save face, but there is NO WAY that this was the plan Orlando was going for.

  • Keezy

    lmao they could’ve gotten started with Bynum,but noo. Late first round picks are better huh?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    they literally tanked an entire season. and it’s ok….

  • L Dribble

    ^^^ an entire season? They just tanked a decade.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    The Magic are pissing me off and I’m not even a fan. This is major incompetence if you ask me, they act as if you cant build through the draft and also acquire talented players which is what they didnt do with the trade they made. That trade may of been the worst of all time and thats not hyperbole.

  • Mas.2

    The Lakers make good deals that make other teams look bad at first but sometimes things pan out for the second party. Look at Memphis. When they sent Pau to LA nobody knew they were getting a 20-10 All-Star Center in lil bro Marc. It worked out well. The Magic are going to use their own draft picks to build. They might do a Boobcats and tank a few seasons to get high picks while giving their young guys solid minutes. Sounds like a better plan than keeping Howard and all his shyt!

  • Riggs

    what a bunch of morons.

  • RunNGun

    @Mas.2 How many rings did LA or Memphis win from that trade?

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    @L-dribble so true. and who would even want to sign with the magic?

  • AF

    @ Mas.2 – Very true. Memphis also got the Kwame Brown contract which they coverted into cap space to sign Zach Randolph – so it was really Pau for Marc Gasol and Z-Bo. You have to view these trades 3 or 4 years later. Another point, everyone keeps talking about the NJ picks. Those picks weren’t going to be lottery picks. NJ with Deron, Dwight and Joe would have been picking in the 20s too (just like these non-protected picks LA and Denver sent). Houston’s picks would have likely been non-lottery picks too.

  • AF

    @RunNGun: Do you remember Memphis before Marc Gasol developed and Zach re-discovered his game? A hint: They weren’t perrenial playoff contenders like they are now.

  • AF

    Last point, the Seattle/OKC model is what everyone clamors for, but Seattle/OKC sucked for a number of years. They didn’t get Jeff Green, Westbrook and Harden from unprotected picks, they got them from sucking – even years after they got Durant. Orlando may be equally as awful as OKC was, and they may acquire a once-in-a-lifetime talent with their own lottery pick. These picks acquired via the trade allow them to build around that talent or gives them leverage to trade up in drafts or ship off picks that will get them complimentary players.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Direct your pity this way…
    JT: They’re trying, but on fans like me, it sure isn’t working.
    nbk: They’ll be tanking probably through 2015 at least.
    Slick Ric: It’s a bad trade. Absolutely awful. If I offered this trade as the Magic on 2K12, the game would probably counter with something BETTER.
    showtime: Alex Martins pulled the trigger on this one, Hennigan just deferred.
    Cosign a lot of the thoughts here, specifically RunNGun, John, Keezy, and Riggs. Y’all may see a slightly more morose Caboose in the coming months.

  • http://www.fullc0urtpress.com KHOLIDAY

    Build through the draft? Translation – WE EFFED UP WITH THAT TRADE!

  • Brad09

    hahahahahahhahahahaah orlando is just bad at this building a dynasty stuff. Cant keep shaq happy, cant keep penny healthy. Sign Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady, hill is hurt for 3 years. Then they get Howard, tmac leaves. They get to a finals but can not put together anything decent around him. Trade howard and then take the worst trade deal you found. Maybe orlando should just move, things are getting sad. Over the years orlando has had a hell of a time drafting good players if they dont have a top 3 pick, change up development and scouting!

  • D12FSU

    umm thats what they did?? the entire scouting department was fired when Hennigan was hired. Also Im not saying the trade was good or anything, but every other trade being offered would’ve made orlando a perennial one and done team in the east, and in this era in the NBA you either needed to be title contending or full on tank mode. So Id rather tank for a few years, enjoy watching our young guys get some PT, and hopefully the long term plan will succeed.

  • Mas.2

    LA won two titles and Memphis became a solid playoff team. Marc became a max $ Center. At the end of the day the Magic did what they needed to do. Get rid of Howard. Send him to the Western so you only seem him once a year in Orlando. They will let contracts run their course while getting good picks. Two years in the tank are worth the wait. NYC tanked two years to get Melo and Amare. Look at how that’s working out. Chances are better if you make smart picks. Look at the Cavs. So far so good. Playoffs? Maybe. But Irving will be a stud. Orlando get lucky in drafts: Shaq & Howard are good examples but they were never able to keep them long term like OKC.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Memphis became a good team because they sucked for so long they got Conley and Rudy Gay with a trade with Houston at pick 10. And then they got Zbo in a trade. Yeah, Gasol turned out to be good, but that was still a ridiculously lopsided deal.

  • RunNGun

    I remember when they had Pau Gasol, Mike Miller, Hakim Warrick, and Darko Milicic. They were an awful lot. Before Pau was traded, he was actually injured the year before. But with the acquisitions of Zach Randolph, Mayo, Allen, drafting Conley and Gay, they were able to move into the playoffs. People/media didn’t know how Marc Gasol was going to turn out; the fact that he did become an ALL-STAR was icing on the cake. Tell me, what became of the draft picks Memphis got from LA and how many rings does LA have since the trade?

  • Bravo

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha I’m from Toronto and this is worst than the VINCE CARTER trade we had!

  • @RunNGun

    completely agree bro…”building through the draft” is much easier said than done. The first thing you need is a future hall of famer (Tim Duncan, Kevin Durant)which are extremely hard to come by. You can have a lot of great players but without one of those, everything else is very difficult. I’m not saying these teams haven’t made great moves to build around these guys, but there is still alot of luck involved. As for the Lakers, it’s very easy to build your team when you’re constantly paying luxury tax, but I do give them credit for drafting well (Kobe, Bynum).

  • James

    with their cap space now and when Hedo`s contract end I think they can rebuild with the draft and free agency. if they thank this season they might get high lottery picks. for me this is not that bad for orlando

  • Brad09

    @d12 the idea that u need to tank to be good is pretty god damn stupid. Since when are number one, two or three picks sure things that will turn around your franchise? let go over this BOGUT, YAO, OKAFOR, DERRICK WILLIAMS, BEASLEY, turner, favors, wall, THABEET, mayo and of course oden. We could go over the other bad picks but i think i made my point. If you run a good organization consistantly you will get rewarded ala miami, dallas, LA, Boston

  • jbee123

    Good call from you guys that think Orlando can’t build through the draft…..Care to guess which team had the best luck in the history of the NBA lottery? Oh yeah, you NY guys think that the Nets offer was the best on the table….a young center that has already experienced a season ending injury, a sub par PF that was demanding an extra, overpriced year, and a 2nd year player that was never even part of the offer…good call. Oh, and Houston? really? The GM for houston came out and said straight up that the offers that were reported were all false and that it was amazing that the press has been so inaccurate regard everything Dwight Howard.
    The point is , we don’t really know what kind of offers there were out there. I do agree with the Magic to stay clear of Andrew Bynum. He is injury prone and has a very bad attitude that would not fit well down there.

  • jbee123

    @Brad- How can you really put Miami and Dallas in the same sentence as Boston or LA….no chance those two are even anywhere near the class of Bos or LA…no way!