After his first year on the job, Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan earned some praise from his peers as he finished seventh in voting for the 2013 NBA Executive of the Year award. Hennigan received one first-place vote and two third-place votes from the other team executives who voted on the award, which went to Denver Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri.
Hennigan, the league's youngest GM, took on an unenviable task in June when he inherited a capped-out, veteran-laden team which had not advanced past the first round of the playoffs since 2010. In his first year, he hired a new coach and dramatically turned the Magic's roster over, keeping only five players from the final year of the Otis Smith era. His highest-profile move was the four-team deal which sent Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers, but his shrewdest transaction may have been acquiring Tobias Harris from the Milwaukee Bucks at the trading deadline. The 20-year-old forward showed promise as a stat-sheet-stuffer, averaging 17.3 points, 8.5 boards, 2.1 assists, and 1.4 blocks per game after the trade.
Hennigan's moves didn't lead to improvement on the court, as the team's 20-62 record was the league's worst, but there's no question--from fans, media, or his peers--that he has Orlando on the right rebuilding path.
Hennigan finished behind Ujiri, Gary Sacks of the Los Angeles Clippers, Daryl Morey of the Houston Rockets, Glen Grunwald of the New York Knicks, R.C. Buford of the San Antonio Spurs, Pay Riley of the Miami Heat, Bob Myers of the Golden State Warriors, Sam Presti of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Danny Ferry of the Atlanta Hawks. Hennigan shared 10th place with Billy King of the Brooklyn Nets and Donnie Walsh of the Indiana Pacers.