After writing over the weekend that there has been chatter around the NBA about the possibility of Doc Rivers joining Orlando’s front office, Marc Stein of ESPN.com has another report today on Magic management. According to Stein, the Magic are giving “strong consideration” to replacing general manager Rob Hennigan, whose job is in danger.
As Stein notes, Hennigan is under contract with the Magic for one more year, through the 2017/18 season. However, the GM currently “finds himself under as much pressure as any executive in the league,” per Stein.
The fact that Hennigan is on the hot seat doesn’t come as a real surprise. The GM himself acknowledged last month that criticism of him and Orlando’s front office was “warranted,” given the club’s performance this season. “Our fans, quite frankly, deserve to be upset and deserve to be frustrated,” Hennigan said at the time. “I think the proverbial hot seat comes with the territory.”
An eventful 2016 offseason saw the Magic trade for Serge Ibaka, then sign Bismack Biyombo, D.J. Augustin, and Jeff Green in free agency. The franchise had playoff aspirations to start the year, but lost its opener to the Heat, and never got back above .500. Orlando’s spot in the lottery prompted the team to flip Ibaka to the Raptors before the trade deadline, and Hennigan and the front office were widely criticized for giving up far more for Ibaka last summer than they got back for him in February.
This will be the fifth straight season that the Magic finish with a losing record, dating back to 2012/13, Hennigan’s first year at the helm. Since Hennigan was hired as Orlando’s GM, the team has a 128-270 record (.322). The club has employed four different head coaches during that time, never winning more than 35 games in a season or earning a spot in the playoffs.