John Hammond Rumors
Organizationally, I asked? “Yeah, organizationally, in terms of the plan,” Gordon continued. “I think (Magic front office executives) John Hammond, Jeff Weltman, those guys are amazing people — amazing people, and very talented managers as well. But I feel like they got kind of cast into the revolving door out there as well in Orlando. So many coaches — five coaches in seven years (Jacque Vaughn, James Borrego, Scott Skiles, Frank Vogel and Steve Clifford). And it was kind of a different organization after the passing of Mr. (Rich) DeVos (in September 2018) as well. It was just a lot. A lot of uncertainty, an insecure kind of feeling. But I have no doubt in my mind that John and Jeff are going to get that organization back to where it needs to be.
The 2020 NBA draft is as unpredictable as can be. Rumors are all over the place, and teams are trying to trade up, down, or completely out. League sources say both the Celtics and Magic are trying to move up into the mid-lottery using their own first-round picks, and the Wizards are angling to move up from no. 9.
Who brought the best bottle? Redick: “In my little circle of T.J. McConnell, Doug McDermott, Tobias Harris and Josh Hart, it was usually me. But Josh has got some great Bordeaux in his collection. But he also had some shipped in. The last night I was there, I didn’t have enough room in my luggage to transport all of the wine back home to New York. So I brought six or seven bottles to the Grand Floridian hotel. I had a little wine meal with Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot, Russell Westbrook, Doug, TJ and myself. Then (former Pelicans coach) Alvin Gentry and (Orlando Magic general manager) John Hammond happened to be sitting at the table next to us. So I shared a couple of sips with them.”
The rumblings persist that Orlando might move on from Gordon, who signed a four-year, $76 million deal in July 2018 but who has regressed this season. As our Magic beat writer, Josh Robbins, wrote, the recent knee injury to big man Jonathan Isaac could change this landscape a bit (he’ll be re-evaluated in seven weeks). But long-term, Orlando’s front office of John Hammond and Jeff Weltman must decide whether Isaac and Gordon have too much duplication in their games. “There is chatter coming from Orlando,” one executive shared on Wednesday.
Orlando’s approach to rebuilding Fultz, 21, was methodical. The rehab came first—it was mid-summer before Fultz started playing. From there it was one-on-one. Then three-on-three. Hammond recalls watching those early three-on-three’s and being wowed by the things Fultz could do. Magic assistant coach Steve Hetzel became attached to Fultz’s hip. They ran pick-and-roll drills to sharpen Fultz’s skills. They used blocking pads to get Fultz’s shoulder used to contact. Hetzel, Fultz said, would whack away at him. He would bump him going to the basket. He would bang him in the post. Slowly, Fultz grew comfortable playing through contact.
969 The Game: “He will not play at all in the Summer League.” -John Hammond on Markelle Fultz’s injury situation.