The Orlando Magic are looking to lock up their man in charge, a report indicates. According to Orlando Sentinel scribe Josh Robbins, the Magic are expected to look to extend the contract of Rob Hennigan, their general manager, following the conclusion of the 2014/15 season. Hennigan, who has one year remaining on his current contract, is in his third season as the Magic's lead decision-maker.
In his column, Robbins indicates that Hennigan hopes to be with the team "long-term." Both Hennigan and Magic CEO Alex Martins were asked to comment on the piece, but both declined, according to Robbins.
Hennigan, 33, is the league's youngest general manager, and when thrust into the position by the Magic in the summer of 2012, was given a monumental task: he had to trade the team's franchise player, Dwight Howard, for the best package possible. It took him until August before he finally agreed to deal Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers in a complex, four-team mega-deal.
The trade landed Hennigan's Magic a handful of players, headlined by Arron Afflalo and Nikola Vucevic word. Afflalo, since traded for Evan Fournier, played a key role for the Magic in his two seasons with the team. Vucevic, now 24, earned a four-year contract extension in the $48 million range prior to the season. The team also acquired swingman Moe Harkless, big men Al Harrington and Josh McRoberts, both of whom have moved on, and five draft picks.
In trading Howard, Hennigan and company were clearly set on a long-term rebuild. While the team has acquired its fair share of young talent, there are still questions as to whether the group can work well enough together to take the Magic back to a contending level.
While most of Hennigan's moves have worked out, some have not. Some fans believe that Hennigan should've held onto sharpshooting big man Ryan Anderson, who was sent to the New Orleans Hornets in a sign-and-trade which netted the Magic big man Gustavo Ayon word. The young general manager has also been heavily criticized for his signing of free agent Channing Frye, who has struggled, most notably on the defensive end, in his first season with the team.
The coming months are some of, if not the, most important ones of Hennigan's tenure. With his team poised to have another high lottery pick--it currently has the fifth-worst record in the league, giving them an 8.8 percent chance at the top overall selection--and will be looking for another head coach after the team parted ways with Jacque Vaughn in February, the man who Hennigan had tabbed back in 2012 to help lead his rebuild. On top of the coaching search and draft, Hennigan will have to decide if his team should hold onto the likes of Tobias Harris and Kyle O`Quinn, who are both set to hit restricted free agency this July.
For the Magic, trying to keep Hennigan around for the long term is a smart move. While not all of his moves have worked out, he's been able to assemble pieces that give the team a good, young core to move forward with. The team has also managed to hold onto seemingly all of its future flexibility by not handing massive contracts out left and right.
This summer will be a telling one about the direction that Hennigan and company want to take the team, but it shouldn't come as a surprise if he's the one leading the charge for the Magic for years to come.