Rob Hennigan Rumors
With the NBA trade deadline looming on Feb. 18, the Orlando Magic soon will have some critical decisions to make. “We’ll be very active in our discussions,” Magic GM Rob Hennigan told the Orlando Sentinel at the midway point of the Magic’s season. “It’s our job to constantly search for ways to improve the team. It doesn’t mean that those discussions will necessarily lead to action. We’re in a position where a lot of teams like our players, and so we’ll certainly have options. If something makes sense for us, we’ll be aggressive. But it needs to make sense for both the long and short terms. So we’ll stay equally as disciplined in our decision-making as we are active in our discussions.”
For the longest time, too, Porzingis’ camp had reason to believe he was destined to play for the Orlando Magic. Porzingis entered his name into the 2014 NBA draft with an expectation that he would withdraw prior to the deadline. “Just to get my name out there in the NBA, get some attention,” Porzingis said. He was still so raw and rail thin at 7-foot in the Spanish ACB League. Everyone in the NBA scouted Porzingis closely, but few teams outside of Magic GM Rob Hennigan’s front office made Porzingis such a significant priority.
As an organization, the Magic became enamored with the long-term possibilities of Porzingis and became aggressive in persuading him to remain in the 2014 draft. So aggressive, in fact, Miller worked a guarantee out of Hennigan that Orlando would choose Porzingis with the No. 10 pick in 2014. Orlando owned two picks, including No. 4. If Porzingis preferred to play one more year with Sevilla in the Spanish ACB before coming to the NBA, the Magic would support him. “Rob had a thorough, comprehensive plan,” Miller told The Vertical. “He had invested as much, or more time, into Kristaps as anyone in the league. He really studied him. They had a plan for supplemental training, development. It wasn’t just, ‘Let’s just draft him and see what happens.’ This was a plan. Kristaps knew the plan and just wasn’t ready.”
Q: With Evan Fournier, the team faces a similar scenario to what the team faced with Tobias Harris last year. How will the team approach what appears to be restricted free agency on the horizon for Fournier? Rob Hennigan: We really value Evan. We’ve said that all along, and I’ll say about Evan what we said about Tobias, which is it’s our intention that he’ll be here for many years to come. We really, really like him and think he’s a great piece to continue to grow with our team.
Rob Hennigan: We believe this will come with the continued growth and maturity of our young players, but we also need to help address our inconsistencies by continuing to search for the right veterans to add to our team. We’ll continue to be extremely selective with the types of veterans we pursue. But rest assured we’ll aggressively pursue any and all players that we feel fit the character of our team and can help push the team forward.
Q: How will you approach the upcoming trade deadline? Rob Hennigan: We’ll be very active in our discussions. It’s our job to constantly search for ways to improve the team. It doesn’t mean that those discussions will necessarily lead to action. We’re in a position where a lot of teams like our players, and so we’ll certainly have options. If something makes sense for us, we’ll be aggressive. But it needs to make sense for both the long and short terms. So we’ll stay equally as disciplined in our decision-making as we are active in our discussions.
Q: How have you and Skiles interacted? Rob Hennigan: Scott has been a pleasure to work with all the way around. We have a good synergy, and I think we both share a collaborative spirit in the sense that we seek wisdom from the group when making a decision and not just one opinion or viewpoint. So we’re in constant dialogue about the team and about personnel decisions that are on the horizon for us, and we’ll continue working closely together as we keep building the team. But we’re in this together. We have a lot of work to do, but we’re committed to doing it together. I think both of us enjoy the challenge, and we have a really good working relationship where we can debate and we can argue and we can joke around. There’s been really good synergy so far.