Magic Pick Up Options On Hennigan, Vaughn

10:00am: The team has officially announced the moves on its website.

“Rob and Jacque have worked extremely hard in establishing a culture which embodies teamwork, hard work, hunger for success and humility,” Martins said in the team’s statement. “With their strategic direction and leadership we feel we are headed in the right direction which will allow us to achieve our goals of contending in a long term sustainable fashion.”

9:30am: The Magic have decided to exercise their 2015/16 team options on GM Rob Hennigan and coach Jacque Vaughn, reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link). Both came aboard during the 2012 offseason, when Hennigan made the Dwight Howard trade his first signature move. That kicked off a rebuilding project that’s seen the Magic win just 20 games in 2012/13 and 23 games this past season, but today’s moves signal that the DeVos family, who own the team, and CEO Alex Martins are satisfied with the team’s course.

Hennigan was just 30 years old when the team hired him away from the Thunder, where he’d spent four seasons, the last two as Oklahoma City’s assistant GM. He netted Nikola Vucevic, Maurice Harkless and Arron Afflalo, among others, in the Howard trade, and those three have played key roles for the Magic the past two seasons. Orlando has three first-round picks coming its way as a result of the Howard trade. Hennigan used the team’s own 2013 first-rounder to take Victor Oladipo second overall this past June, and the guard turned in a productive rookie season even as he adjusted to the team’s experiment of using him at point guard.

Hennigan also scored with his acquisition of Tobias Harris in the J.J. Redick trade this past summer. Still, the GM has had his share of disappointments, too, trading Josh McRoberts for Hakim Warrick in 2013 and failing to find takers for the expensive contracts of veterans Hedo Turkoglu, Glen Davis and Al Harrington, all of whom the Magic waived.

Vaughn, another useful presence who’s still just 39, joined the team after serving as an assistant coach with the Spurs, the organization that gave Hennigan his start in the NBA. The team ranked near the bottom in both offensive and defensive efficiency in Vaughn’s first season, but the Magic made strides defensively this year, finishing 13th in points allowed per possession, according to

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2 thoughts on “Magic Pick Up Options On Hennigan, Vaughn

  1. Cigamodnalro

    Not sure I would call trading McRoberts for a Warrick a disappointment. Aside from the fact that both players were expiring and McRoberts was not doing anything of substance in Orlando, the deadline deal (a) opened up additional minutes for young Magic forwards Kyle O’Quinn and Andrew Nicholson, (b) created a trade exception in favor of the Magic, and (c) ultimately, in hindsight, was instrumental in Charlotte’s eventual passing of Orlando in the standings, as McRoberts performed well as a Bobcat. Orlando entered the draft with a 5.1% better chance of pulling the #1 pick, and ultimately landed #2 (Oladipo) while Charlotte slipped to #4 (Zeller).

    The bigger (biggest) disappointment in Hennigan’s young career is still his first trade, which occurred a full month before the Dwight Howard blockbuster. In order to maximize flexibility in the wake of an eminent Howard deal, Hennigan opted not to re-sign forward Ryan Anderson, and instead shipped him west, in what ultimately was structured as a sign-and-trade transaction, for Gustavo Ayon. Anderson emerged as an elite NBA talent in New Orleans, while Ayon (who Orlando initially expected to start at center) quickly fell behind Vucevic in the depth chart and ultimately became a throw-in to the Harris deal.

    • HoopsRumors

      Good points, all. I think you could argue the merits of the McRoberts trade, since he was the starting power forward on a playoff team this year and was second only to Chris Paul in assists-to-turnover ratio in the NBA. I even think retaining flexibility for the Howard deal might have been worth sacrificing Anderson, since even if Anderson had been on the team the past two years, they probably wouldn’t have made the playoffs (and probably wouldn’t have landed first-round picks quite so high in the order, either). But, I think you’re argument’s as good as mine.



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