Less than 12 hours after finishing off another disappointing season, the Orlando Magic began making moves, firing General Manager Rob Hennigan, and assistant general manager Scott Perry. Fellow assistant general manager Matt Llyod, who previously worked for the Chicago Bulls for 13 years, was named the team’s interim General Manager.
Across five seasons leading the Magic, Hennigan’s teams finished with the second worst record in the NBA, 132-278.
Tasked with rebuilding the team following the Dwight Howard saga, Hennigan was given poor luck in the NBA’s draft lottery, only securing a top-3 selection once in 2013, a draft that happened to be one of the worst in the last 10-years. Hennigan also struggled with poor asset management, turning young players like Ryan Anderson, Tobias Harris, Maurice Harkless and Kyle O’Quinn into seemingly nothing.
As the pressure began to build, Hennigan was unable to put together a team that was cohesive enough to win games on a consistent basis, or build an identity for the future.
Magic CEO Alex Martins released this statement regarding Hennigan’s firing.
“We appreciate Rob’s efforts to rebuild the team, but feel we have not made any discernible improvement over the last few years specifically. It's time for different leadership in basketball operations. We certainly wish Rob and his family well,” said Martins. “Matt brings solid experience and his appointment as general manager on an interim basis will allow us to seamlessly continue our preparations for the upcoming draft.”
With the season over, and the team headed for the lottery once again, the Magic will be in for a busy offseason.
Keeping Lloyd makes sense so the team can continue to make their preparations for the draft, and there is a chance the team could keep him for the long-term. Lloyd, along with former Magic players Grant Hill and Pat Garrity, and Golden State Warriors assistant general manager Travis Schlenk will be potential candidates for the job, according to the Orlando Sentinel’s Josh Robbins.
At the end of the day, the Hennigan tenure was a disaster for the Magic. Not only was the team not able to assemble pieces that can have a long-term effect, but they showed little to no fight when things got bad, especially late in this season.
Firing Hennigan puts an end to part of what has been the worst five-year stretch in Orlando Magic basketball, but there’s nothing that says the future is any brighter today than it was yesterday.