Hoops World's Alex Kennedy wrote about the young core Rob Hennigan has acquired since his term as Magic general manager started in 2012. The Magic's roster has been growing closer this offseason, akin to the young Thunder team Hennigan worked for before joining the Magic.
The youthful Magic players mentioned in the piece, Maurice Harkless, Tobias Harris, Nikola Vucevic, rookie Victor Oladipo, Andrew Nicholson, Kyle O'Quinn, and Doron Lamb only took a couple weeks off after the season concluded in April before returning to Orlando.
Once in town, they all work out, lift weights and scrimmage five-on-five together before hanging out off the court to grab food, play cards or watch TV at someone's house at night.
Said Harkless of all the time spent together, “I think it’s really important. We pretty much spend all of our time together, whether it’s in the gym or just hanging out at a guy’s house playing video games, watching TV or playing Spades. We just spend a lot of time together. I think it’s really good. It’s going to help us build chemistry, on the court and off of the court.”
It's that same chemistry Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, Jeff Green, James Harden and Eric Maynor developed while they were all growing together in Oklahoma City with Hennigan looking on. Whether the Magic go on to reach the upper-tier as one of the NBA's true title-contenders, remains to be seen, but Magic fans have to like the growing bond between their young players.
- This summer, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reported that the Magic were going to pick up the options on four of the players mentioned in Kennedy's piece who are all on their rookie-scale deals: Harris, Vucevic, Harkless and Nicholson.
- Picking up the options on all four – they have until October 31st, but Robbins believed the options could be picked before the 1st of October – means they'll be under contract in Orlando through the 2014/15 season. Next summer, the Magic will decide on fourth-year options for Harkless and Nicholson and an extension for Vucevic.
- Nicholson played well for team Canada tonight during their 81-74 loss to the Dominican Republic at the FIBA Americas qualifying tournament, tweets the Toronto Sun's Ryan Wolstat. Nicolson's play was one of the only bright spots in the game for Canada (Twitter).
- According to another Wolstat tweet, Canada needs Puerto Rico to beat Venezuela tonight and Mexico tomorrow while Canada also needs to defeat Argentina tomorrow to grab a spot in the 2014 FIBA World Championships in Spain next summer.