The initial response from most Orlando Magic fans following the team selecting Arron Gordon out of Arizona with the fourth overall pick in the NBA draft was anger and disappointment.
After a few days, it seems as if they are coming around to the idea that General Manager Rob Hennigan is not looking for “sexy” at this point but depth and substance.
In an era where teams are going for the quick fix, Hennigan is deferring to the conventional way and utilizing patience.
Gordon is an athletic forward who can guard multiple positions, giving the Magic flexibility on the defense end with Victor Oladipo, Maurice Harkless, Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic. Gordon will however need to work on his offensive game, he is still extremely raw in that department.
The Magic also acquired Elfrid Payton from the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round to add another stellar defensive player.
Orlando’s front office is looking for long term solutions and building from within, allowing the young players to come into there own. Head coach Jacque Vaughn who signed an extension with the team in May, will need to come up with a rotation that gets the best out of his young roster.
Dante Exum seemed to have been the obvious choice if available at four, but last minute the team went with Gordon. The expectation was to pair Exum with Oladipo, giving the team a one two punch on the offensive end. The addition of Exum would have allowed Oladipo to play his natural shooting guard role.
The risk with Exum was too much uncertainty, considering his level of competition. The pick would have been flashy and given the franchise a much needed shot of adrenaline off the court but no guarantee he would have flourished on it.
Worst case with Gordon, you have an atheltic defender who can guard multiple positions and is great in transition.
Hennigan and Vaughn will have to eventually address the lack of offense considering they traded the teams leading scorer Arron Afflalo to the Denver Nuggets last week.
Afflalo averaged a career best 18.2 points per game while shooting 42.7% from beyond the arc last season.
The lack of shooters and perimeter scoring going into next season will allow opposing teams to pack in defensively, causing issues for the Magic offense. The team will need to utilize its athletic defenders and rely on transition offense to carry them to wins.
At some point Hennigan will need to make a splash in free agency, it’s needed if they plan on becoming a playoff contender. Not to mention is will help with struggling attendance.