Magic GM Talks Roster, Trade Possibilities, Ibaka’s Future

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.

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12 thoughts on “Magic GM Talks Roster, Trade Possibilities, Ibaka’s Future

  1. smittybanton

    Still have no idea why the Magic traded Oladipo and kept Elfrid Payton. Hell, I don’t know why you trade Dario Saric and a first for Payton back in ’14 when you have Oladipo.

    After losing Kevin Durant, Sam Presti got Victor Oladipo from Orlando and Jerami Grant from the Sixers. Jealous.

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  2. Z-A

    Ibaka was much more effective with shooters on a team and him inside getting put-backs, focusing more energy on rebounding and defense. Asking him to be more of an offensive threat is taking away from the goal of the trade – defense 1st.

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    • Dionis

      Not really Ibaka wants to prove he can do Much more the just block shots and be a 15 foot jump shooter. He needs to play at the 5 with Gordon at the 4, they would be really hard to stop because that’s a whole lot of versatility specially with Gordon adding some range.

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      • Z-A

        If your intent was to build the team for defense, taking your best defender out of his natural element is a fail. No?

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  3. Dionis

    Play Ibaka at center, move Gordon to the 4. Package Nikola and send him to the Lakers for Luol Deng. Lakers get a center who can score and do everything Mozgov does, and the Magic get Deng who can slot in at the 3, score, defend, and shoot the ball.

    Payton-Fournier-Deng-Gordon-Ibaka

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    • Swagboy69

      Definitely agree with Ibaka to 5 and Gordon to 4.

      Disagree with targeting Luol Deng, they’d be better off targeting a younger wing with some upside — although I’d assume Vucevic has little value in the league right now so maybe getting a young wing would be tough.

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      • Dionis

        Jeremy Lamb would be nice at the 3 for Orlando

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      • Ed in T-dot

        Vooch has some value, as he is on a bargain contract for another 2 years. However, with his defensive deficiencies, it may be hard to find a team willing to give up too much for him…

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  4. Ryan Brubaker

    Who says no?

    Charlotte: Vucevic and Hezonja
    Orland: Lamb, Hibbert, Kaminsky

    CLT gets legit Center and younger wing. Orlando gets an upgrade on the wing and a younger big man to pair with Biyombo/Ibaka. Hibbert gets to rejoin Vogel and matches salaries.

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    • Z-A

      That trade is basically Kaminksy for Vucevic.. so probably Orlando says no. Lamb & Hibbert aren’t worth anything. IF the bar was no-achilllies injury Rudy Gay then…

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    • Connorsoxfan

      Charlotte throws in a first rounder and then go from there probably.

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  5. 1stindiangm

    If Hennigan didn’t come from the OKC organization, there is no way the Magic make a deal for Ibaka. The idea was good at first but its not working. Trade Ibaka ASAP!

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