Hennigan Cleans House
Rob Hennigan has only been the general manager of the Orlando Magic since Thursday, but he’s already made quite the impact inside the Magic front office.
On Sunday, Hennigan fired assistant general manager Dave Twardzik and six scouts.
Twardzik, who was running the draft process for the Magic, has been with team since 2003, first as the Director of Player Personnel before being promoted to assistant general manager in 2005.
Regional scout Tom Conrad, international scout Rudy D’Amico, international scouting coordinator Sam Foggin, pro scout Bob Staak, regional scout Greg Stratton and NBA advance scout Al Walker were the other members of the Magic organization let go Sunday.
Hennigan continued to make changes Monday, firing Orlando’s Director of Player Development Adonal Foyle. Most were caught off guard by the move as Foyle was widely regarded as an up-and-comer and many believed he was being groomed as a future general manager. However, when the Magic decided not to hire an older, more proven commodity like former New Orleans Hornets general manager Jeff Bower, that option may have gone out the window.
Just after that news came out, it was reported Hennigan hired Scott Perry as his assistant general manager. Perry, a bit of a hot commodity himself, was the Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Detroit Pistons. Previously, Perry worked in Seattle under current Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti. Hennigan is a Presti protégé.
With these moves, it’s clear the Magic have put their complete faith and control in the hands of Hennigan, something they absolutely had to do.
Are The Houston Rockets After Dwight Howard?
According to a report, the Houston Rockets are dangling their two first round picks (14 and 16), point guard Kyle Lowry and possibly other players, including center Samuel Dalembert, to try to acquire picks in the top 10 of Thursday’s draft. Both Sacramento, who has the fifth pick and Toronto, who has the eighth pick, are believed to be interested.
Although the Rockets do like Connecticut big man Andre Drummond, this looks like a move made to make another run at Magic center Dwight Howard.
The Rockets were reportedly close to dealing for Howard last season.
If the Magic do indeed have to trade Howard, getting back two top eight picks in what is regarded as a deep draft and shedding themselves of some bad contracts (Hedo Turkoglu, among others), a deal like this would be a nice way to start the rebuilding process.
(Mike Tuck gives his take on this story here.)
Could The Magic Deal The 19th Pick?
It is no secret the Magic are not in a good situation financially.
With a plethora of bad contracts, a superstar that apparently wants out and two starters that could potentially move on, the Magic really need to dump salary.
However, that isn’t an easy thing to do. With their large contracts and underwhelming production, no team wants to take on the likes of forward Hedo Turkoglu, guard Jason Richardson and point guard Chris Duhon.
Moving bad contracts surely isn’t impossible and the Magic might just have the tool to do it with the 19th overall pick and one report says that is a possibility.
Sure you’d like a guy with a track record in the draft like Rob Hennigan has to make as many picks he can, but if you can relieve yourself of some bad contracts, it’s a sacrifice that might have to be made.
(Andrew Melnick is the ESPNFlorida.com Magic and NBA Insider, co-host of the ESPN 1080 Insiders Show and publisher of Howard the Dunk. The Insiders Show can be heard Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST on AM 1080 in Orlando and on ESPNFlorida.com. You can follow Andrew on twitter here.)