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.”