Magic GM Acknowledges Criticism Is ‘Warranted’

Magic CEO Alex Martins recently told The Orlando Sentinel that Rob Hennigan would be evaluated by the team after this season, adding that the general manager’s job isn’t in immediate danger. However, despite assurances that he’ll at least finish the season with the franchise, Hennigan acknowledged to Mike Bianchi of The Sentinel that his spot on the “hot seat” is understandable.

“First and foremost, the criticism is warranted,” Hennigan said, admitting that the Magic’s 21-36 record is disappointing, following an active offseason. “I don’t know if it’s welcome because no one likes to get criticized, but the job we have and the job we’re trying to do is certainly subject to that. Our fans, quite frankly, deserve to be upset and deserve to be frustrated. … I think the proverbial hot seat comes with the territory.”

Orlando’s 2016 offseason included a blockbuster trade that saw the team acquire Serge Ibaka in exchange for Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, and Ersan Ilyasova. The Magic followed that move up by signing Bismack Biyombo and Jeff Green in free agency, creating a logjam in a frontcourt that already featured Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon. There were questions at the time about the team’s roster construction, and the skeptics have been proven right thus far.

With the trade deadline just nine days away, the Magic have vowed to be aggressive as they pursue potential deals, though their asking prices are said to be high. Outside of perhaps Gordon and Evan Fournier, it’s hard to imagine any player on Orlando’s roster being unavailable this month, so Hennigan will have some decisions to make as he tries to create some positive momentum for the franchise heading into the summer.

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7 thoughts on “Magic GM Acknowledges Criticism Is ‘Warranted’

  1. D-NBA

    This team lacks direction, Payton is being switched in and out of the starting lineup, they have a mess in the frontcourt with Biyombo,Nikola,Ibaka, and Gordon. Let’s face it Fournier is not a good enough scorer to carry this team offensively, they need to get rid of Ibaka and just start Gordon permanently at the 4 alongside Nikola. Biyombo is no starting center, keep him on the bench as an energizer. I do not see why they do not move Ibaka to Toronto for Terrence Ross who can slot in at the 3 and develop under Vogel. Ibaka is a win now player and the Raptors sorely need a stretch 4 alongside Jonas if they want any shot at Cleveland, plus he gives them a 3rd-4th option they sorely lack beyond Lowry, and Derozan. The Magic lineup would be way more balanced like this

    Payton-Fournier-Ross-Gordon-Nikola, all 4 of the starters outside of Nikola can play defense and Nikola can focus on what he does best which is score and give the Magic what they need offensively.

  2. smittybanton

    Drafted Mario Hezoja fifth overall. Got rid of Tobias Harris. Traded Dario Saric and a future first round pick and a future second round pick for Elfrid Payton…

    The only possible reason Hennigan has not been fired is because he was probably under orders from CEO Alex Martins to make the team look competitive without actually spending money to become competitive.

    Didn’t want to pay Tobias Harris even though they had no small forward to replace him, traded for little return. Didn’t want to pay Victor Oladipo even though he was the best guard on the team, traded for little return. Not going to retain Serge Ibaka.

    Churn those rookie contracts until a star is found. Keep churning…

    • Fredo

      Haha not to mention trading assets for banged up Brandon Jennings randomly last year.

  3. Here’s what I would do if I was Orlando:

    Trade Ibaka either for Ross/Patterson/Clippers 2017 1st or to Boston for either Amir Johnson/Marcus Smart/1st or Amir/Brown/1st.

    Hold on to Vuc. Try to see if anyone wants Biz. Attach a 2019 or 2020 1st if need be. If you can even get pennies on the dollar for him, do it. (Ajinca/Evans for Biz and a first?)

    Tank the rest of the season. Get a top 3 pick to get a PG in this loaded draft. Pray the Lakers pick falls outside the top 3 to get the 2019 pick from them.

    Get rid of Jeff Green for a couple of basketballs and some Gatorade.

    If Orlando can figure out who they want to keep or who they want to get rid of, that will help in the draft and in FA. Give Vogel time to figure things out. Don’t fire him. Give Hennigan a shot at the trade deadline to figure things out. If he can’t figure it out, fire him. We should’ve been frugal in the offseason and not going after a flash in the pan (Biz) once we got Ibaka, and overpaying for Jeff Green was a terrible decision.

    All in all, things will get better although It’s frustrating right now for sure.

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