The Magic have lost 10 of their last 13 games and GM Rob Hennigan said that Orlando will be evaluating all opportunities with an eye on getting the team into the playoffs, as he tells Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.
“The simple answer to that is we need to explore every and all option to improve the team, and so we’re going to be aggressive,” Hennigan said about the possibility of making a trade. “We’re going to be active in our discussions and in the opportunities we seek out. So we’re going to look to be active. I’m not sure it’s a ‘necessity,’ but it’s certainly something that’s in our best interests to explore.”
Hennigan tells Robbins that he’s aware of the league’s small-ball trend and it plays a factor in the transactions he makes. However, his goal was to construct a team that was versatile enough to play against any lineup.
“We built this team to be a defensive-minded team. And we also built this team to have the flexibility to play multiple ways.” Hennigan said. “And while that hasn’t necessarily manifested itself throughout the season, we feel like our vision and our philosophy now and going forward will be to construct a team that can play big, that can play small and vary from opponent to opponent.
“I think certainly — absent an elite player that becomes available — we need to continue to try to add more shooting and shot-making and basketball IQ to the team wherever we can find it. But we need to continue to place an emphasis on rim protection as well because of the way the game’s officiated nowadays.”
He added that the front office is “extremely disappointed and frustrated” with the team’s defensive performance this season. Orlando signed Bismack Biyombo and traded for Serge Ibaka during the offseason with the goal of improving its defense. At times, the duo has been able to elevate the team’s play, though the defense has struggled overall. Ibaka will be a free agent at the end of the season and Robbins asked the GM if he intended to re-sign the big man.
“We don’t comment on those things publicly,” Hennigan replied. “We value Serge a great deal. He’s been really good for us, and he’s certainly someone that we hope is in our future.”
Hennigan said he wouldn’t rule out trading anyone, including Ibaka, and reiterated that the franchise needs to be aggressive when looking for upgrades. That pertains to the roster, as a shake-up in the coaching staff is highly unlikely.
“[Frank Vogel] and I are joined at the hip when it comes to decisions we want to make to improve the team, and we’ll continue to work very closely together with that approach. But overall he’s been really, really good, and we’re lucky to have him,” Hennigan said.
The GM admitted that he feels pressure from the organization to turn the season around, but he said that he’s focused on doing the best he can with the resources he has. The Magic are 18-28 on the season and they currently own the 12th-best record in the Eastern Conference.