Archive for the ‘ Orlando Magic Blog ’ Category

Magic waive Keith Appling and Jordan Sibert

The Orlando Magic have waived guards Keith Appling and Jordan Sibert, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today. Orlando’s roster now stands at 17.

After clearing waivers, the two will join the Magic’s D-League team, the Erie Bayhawks.

Orlando begins the 2015-16 regular season on Wednesday, October 28 at home against Washington (7 p.m.).

Enjoy this video showcasing Tracy McGrady’s best highlights from his days on the Orlando Magic:

Magic paying big money to Tobias Harris

Magic paying big money to Tobias Harris

Here’s the Orlando Sentinel reporting on a talented young Magic player who now has a lot of pressure on his shoulders to earn his much bigger salary:

Magic paying big money to Tobias Harris

Tobias Harris checks in at a svelte 235 pounds, not counting, of course, the extra weight he’s carrying.

It’s quite a load.

He’s put on an additional $64 million.

Harris and the Magic can only hope it doesn’t show this season.

A huge four-year contract has made Tobias the team’s highest-paid player, surpassing Nik Vucevic’s deal.

This is all new for Harris at 23. He says all that money won’t affect him. He says he doesn’t see himself “pressing” to try to justify the count and the amount.

“It doesn’t change me or my game. I don’t play the game just for the paycheck. I play for the love and the love of winning,” Harris told me. “When I signed my deal, the next day I was back in the gym, working just as hard. It’s no time to go out and celebrate crazy. I’m blessed enough to be in this position.

“It drives me. It just shows me if you want another one, you have to work twice as hard.”

Magic hope for big things from Aaron Gordon

Here’s the Orlando Sentinel reporting on a key member of the Magic youth movement:

Magic hope for big things from Aaron Gordon

Almost two and a half months have passed since Gordon underwent surgery July 14 to repair his fractured jaw, and the bone now is almost fully healed. Although he has participated in the first four practices of Orlando Magic training camp, he has been forced to sit out full-contact drills and team scrimmages….

The Magic are counting on Gordon, a combo forward, to play a major role in the year ahead. At 6 feet 9 and 220 pounds, and blessed with smarts, elite jumping ability and superb quickness, Gordon arguably has more potential on the defensive end of the court than anyone else on the roster. Skiles envisions Gordon as someone who can guard opponents at four different positions, even point guards.

The team expects Gordon to be cleared for full contact at some point in mid-October — perhaps before the team’s Oct. 17 exhibition in Rio de Janeiro against the Brazilian team Flamengo. Still, even if Gordon plays against Flamengo, there would be little time left before Orlando’s regular-season opener on Oct. 28. Therein lies the concern.

None of this would be a worry if Gordon, now 20, hadn’t been goofing off after the Orlando Pro Summer League with his 25-year-old brother, Drew, who played a bit last season for the Philadelphia 76ers.

A glance at Magic training camp

A glance at Orlando Magic training camp

Here’s the Orlando Sentinel with insight on Magic training camp, which is set to open:

The team will have 19 players in training camp, although two of them could be limited early on. Gordon is still recovering from a fractured jaw that he suffered in mid-July and likely won’t begin participating in full-contact, 5-on-5 drills until mid-October. Magic officials recently learned that Fournier tweaked one of his ankles during France’s final game in EuroBasket 2015, and the team could proceed cautiously with him.

On Thursday, the Magic announced the signing of four new players who will attempt to earn a roster spot: point guard Keith Appling, center Nnanna Egwu, guard Jordan Sibert and center Greg Stiemsma.

Appling will compete against newcomer Shabazz Napier for the role as Orlando’s third point guard, while Egwu, Sibert and Stiemsma likely will compete against forward Melvin Ejim for the 15th spot on the roster.

Guard Tyler Harvey, whom the Magic drafted late in the second round in June’s draft, will not attend training camp and instead will spend the season with the Magic’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks. The Magic will retain Harvey’s draft rights.

Magic sign Melvin Ejim

The Orlando Magic have signed forward Melvin Ejim (EDGE-um), General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

Ejim (6’6”, 220, 3/4/91) played in 47 games (45 starts) last season with Virtus Roma in Italy, averaging 7.9 ppg., 5.6 rpg. and 1.00 stlpg. in 24.1 minpg. He recently played with the Orlando Magic “White” team during the 2015 Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League, averaging 9.2 ppg., 6.8 rpg., 1.6 apg. and 1.00 stlpg. in 30.0 minpg.

Ejim, who was not drafted by an NBA franchise in 2014, played in 135 games (126 starts) during four seasons at Iowa State University from 2010-14, averaging 12.2 ppg., 7.8 rpg., 1.4 apg. and 1.08 stlpg. in 27.8 minpg., while shooting .497 (596-1,158) from the floor. He finished his collegiate career as the Cyclones’ all-time leader in games played and games started. Ejim also finished on the school’s all-time list in rebounding (second, 1,051) and is the only player in ISU history to amass 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 100 steals. Ejim was named the Big 12 Player of the Year in 2013-14. He helped Iowa State captured the 2013-14 Big 12 Tournament championship and reach the Sweet Sixteen during the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

Heat trade Shabazz Napier to Magic

Heat trade Shabazz Napier to Magic

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have traded guard Shabazz Napier and cash considerations to the Orlando Magic in exchange for a protected 2016 draft pick.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, “Napier, 24, gives the Magic additional depth at point guard, a position where Elfrid Payton is entrenched as the starter and free-agent signee C.J. Watson will serve as Payton’s backup. Napier also would be able to contribute some scoring off the bench.”

Napier (6’1”, 175, 7/14/91) played in 51 games as a rookie last season, averaging 5.1 ppg. and 2.5 apg. in 19.8 minpg., while shooting 36.4 percent from three-point range. Napier scored in double-figures in six straight games between Nov. 16-25 and notched a career-high 18 points on Feb. 20 at New York. He had a season-best eight assists on Feb. 11 at Cleveland. Napier underwent sports hernia surgery on Apr. 1. He returned to action this summer and scored 14 points and added six assists in Miami’s final game in the Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League. He also averaged 18 points in 25.0 minpg. over three games during summer league play in Las Vegas.

As a college senior in 2014, Napier, a consensus First Team All-American, led the University of Connecticut to the NCAA Tournament title and was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player. He was also part of UConn’s 2011 NCAA Championship team and became the only player in UConn history to total at least 1,500 career points and 500 career assists. Originally selected by Charlotte in the first round (24th overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft, his rights were acquired by Miami on draft night.

More from the Sentinel: “The only way the Heat will get the Magic’s second-round pick in 2016 will be if Orlando finishes with one of the NBA’s five best records during the 2015-16 regular season. In other words, if the Magic’s second-round pick falls anwhere from 31st overall through 55th overall, the Magic would keep the pick.”

Heat are sending Shabazz Napier to Magic

Here’s the Miami Herald reporting a Heat roster move:

Heat are sending Shabazz Napier to Magic

For many in Miami, it was difficult to watch Shabazz Napier play basketball for the Heat and not think of LeBron James. That won’t be a problem anymore.

In an effort to clean up its offseason roster, the Heat traded Napier to the Orlando Magic on Sunday for almost nothing in return save closure.

It was James who wanted the Heat to draft Napier last year, but James never played with the point guard from the University of Connecticut. A few summer-league games into Napier’s stint with the Heat, James shocked the Heat’s front office with his move to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Magic trade Maurice Harkless to Blazers

Magic trade Maurice Harkless to Blazers

The Orlando Magic have acquired a conditional future second round draft pick from Portland in exchange for forward Maurice Harkless, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

Harkless played in 45 games (four starts) last season with Orlando, averaging 3.5 ppg. and 2.4 rpg. in 15.0 minpg. He led (or tied) the team in assists once. Harkless scored in double figures three times, including a season-high 18 points on Mar. 18 @ Dallas.

Originally selected by Philadelphia in the first round (15th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft, Harkless was acquired by the Magic on Aug. 10, 2012 as part of a four-team, 12 player deal. He has appeared in 201 career NBA regular season games (104 starts), all with Orlando, averaging 6.8 ppg., 3.5 rpg. and 1.08 stlpg. in 22.9 minpg.

Magic re-sign Tobias Harris

Magic re-sign Tobias Harris

The Orlando Magic have re-signed restricted free agent forward Tobias Harris, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

ESPN.com reported earlier in July that it is a four-year, $64 million deal.

“This is an exciting and important day for our organization. Re-signing Tobias (Harris) was a top priority this summer and we’re thrilled to have him back,” said Hennigan. “We value Tobias’ contributions greatly, both on the floor and in the community, and we’re excited that he’ll remain an important member of our team for many seasons to come.”

Harris (6’9”, 235, 7/15/92) played in 68 games (63 starts) last season with Orlando, averaging a career-high 17.1 ppg., 6.3 rpg., 1.8 apg. and 1.01 stlpg. in a career-high 34.8 minpg. He was tied for 17th in the NBA in minutes played and ranked 28th in scoring. Harris led (or tied) the team in scoring 20 times, in rebounding 11 times and in assists twice. He scored in double figures 61 times and had 20+ points 21 times, including a career-high 34 points on Feb. 6 vs. L.A. Lakers. Harris pulled down 10+ rebounds 11 times and recorded 11 double-doubles. He hit game-winning jumpers as time expired on both Nov. 5 @ Philadelphia and Dec. 13 vs. Atlanta.

Originally selected by Charlotte in the first round (19th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft, Harris has appeared in 226 career NBA regular season games (142 starts) with Milwaukee and Orlando, averaging 12.7 ppg., 5.5 rpg. and 1.3 apg. in 26.5 minpg. Harris was acquired by Orlando from Milwaukee, along with Doron Lamb and Beno Udrih, in exchange for J.J. Redick, Gustavo Ayon and Ish Smith on Feb. 21, 2013. He has played in 156 games (119 starts) with the Magic, averaging 16.2 ppg., 6.9 rpg. and 1.7 apg. in 33.3 minpg.

Magic sign center Jason Smith

Magic sign center Jason Smith

The Orlando Magic have signed free agent center Jason Smith, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

Smith (7’0”, 245, 3/2/86) played in all 82 games last season with New York (31 starts), averaging 8.0 ppg., 4.0 rpg. and 1.7 apg. in 21.8 minpg., while shooting .830 (127-153) from the free throw line. He led (or tied) the team in scoring once, in rebounding 11 times and in assists five times. Smith scored in double figures 29 times and had 20+ points twice, including a season-high 25 points on Feb. 11 @ Orlando. He also pulled down 10+ rebounds four times and recorded three double-doubles.

Originally selected by Miami in the first round (20th overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft, Smith has appeared in 413 career NBA regular season games (96 starts) with Philadelphia, New Orleans and New York, averaging 6.4 ppg. and 3.6 rpg. in 17.7 minpg. He has also played in 12 career playoff outings, averaging 2.8 ppg. and 1.8 rpg. in 11.7 minpg.

Magic trade Kyle O’Quinn to Knicks

The Orlando Magic have acquired the option to swap second round draft picks in 2019 and cash consideration from New York in exchange for forward/center Kyle O’Quinn in a sign-and-trade deal, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

O’Quinn played in 51 games (17 starts) last season with Orlando, averaging 5.8 ppg., 3.9 rpg. and 1.2 apg. in 16.2 minpg. He led (or tied) the team in rebounding three times and in assists twice. O’Quinn scored in double figures ten times, including a season-high 21 points on Dec. 2 @ Golden State. He pulled down 10+ rebounds three times and recorded three double-doubles.

Originally selected by Orlando in the second round (49th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft, O’Quinn has appeared in 177 career NBA regular season games (41 starts), all with Orlando, averaging 5.4 ppg., 4.4 rpg. and 1.1 apg. in 15.0 minpg., while shooting .501 (406-810) from the floor.

Orlando Magic sign C.J. Watson

Orlando Magic sign C.J. Watson

The Orlando Magic have signed free agent guard C.J. Watson, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

Watson (6’2”, 175, 4/17/84) played in 57 games last season with Indiana (21 starts), averaging 10.0 ppg., 3.6 apg., 2.9 rpg. and 1.00 stlpg. in 24.9 minpg., while shooting .400 (70-175) from three-point range and .826 (138-167) from the free throw line. He led (or tied) the team in scoring three times, in rebounding once and in assists 16 times. Watson scored in double figures 29 times and had 20+ points four times, including a season-high 23 points three times, the last on Mar. 26 at Milwaukee. He also pulled down a career-high nine rebounds on Dec. 27 at Brooklyn.

After playing collegiately at the University of Tennessee, Watson was not selected during the 2006 NBA Draft. He played in Italy, Greece and the NBA Development League, before being signed to the first of two consecutive 10-day contracts by Golden State on Jan. 8, 2008. Watson has appeared in 505 career NBA regular season games (93 starts) with Golden State, Chicago, Brooklyn and Indiana, averaging 7.8 ppg., 2.5 apg. and 2.0 rpg. in 20.6 minpg., while shooting .383 (425-1,110) from three-point range and .806 (750-931) from the free throw line. He has also played in 48 career NBA playoff games (five starts), averaging 5.5 ppg., 2.0 apg. and 1.8 rpg. in 16.8 minpg.

Orlando Magic qualifying offer Kyle O’Quinn

The Orlando Magic have extended a qualifying offer to forward/center Kyle O’Quinn, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

By extending a qualifying offer to O’Quinn prior to the June 30 deadline, Orlando owns the right to match any offer sheet he may sign with another team. O’Quinn will become a restricted free agent on July 1.

O’Quinn played in 51 games (17 starts) last season with Orlando, averaging 5.8 ppg., 3.9 rpg. and 1.2 apg. in 16.2 minpg. He led (or tied) the team in rebounding three times and in assists twice. O’Quinn scored in double figures ten times, including a season-high 21 points on Dec. 2 @ Golden State. He pulled down 10+ rebounds three times and recorded three double-doubles.

Originally selected by Orlando in the second round (49th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft, O’Quinn has appeared in 177 career NBA regular season games (41 starts), all with Orlando, averaging 5.4 ppg., 4.4 rpg. and 1.1 apg. in 15.0 minpg., while shooting .501 (406-810) from the floor.

The Orlando Magic have named Adrian Griffin, Monte Mathis, Mario Elie and Conner Henry assistant coaches. In addition, Laron Profit and Jay Hernandez will remain as assistant coaches/player development, completing Scott Skiles’ coaching staff.

Griffin has spent the last five seasons (2010-15) as an assistant coach with Chicago. During the summer of 2014, he worked with the USA Basketball Men’s National Team that captured the gold medal at the FIBA Basketball World Cup. Prior to joining the Bulls, he served as assistant coach/player development for two seasons (2008-10) with Milwaukee under Scott Skiles.

As a player, Griffin appeared in 477 career NBA games (179 starts) during nine seasons with Boston, Dallas, Houston, Chicago and Seattle, averaging 4.0 ppg., 3.2 rpg. and 1.4 apg. in 16.8 minpg. He also played in 48 career playoff outings, averaging 3.4 ppg. and 3.0 rpg. in 13.2 minpg. and helped Dallas reach the 2006 NBA Finals. Griffin also played one season in Italy and three seasons with Connecticut of the CBA. In 1998-99, he was named CBA Most Valuable Player and also earned CBA Finals MVP, leading Connecticut to the championship.

Born on July 4, 1974 and a native of Wichita, Kansas, Griffin was a three-year starter at Seton Hall University. He and his wife, Audrey, have two daughters, Vanessa and Aubrey, and two sons, Alan and Adrian, Jr.

Mathis has spent the previous five seasons (2010-15) as an assistant coach with Dallas and the last four seasons as the Mavericks’ defensive coordinator, after spending one season as player development coach. As defensive coordinator, his responsibilities included preparing defensive game plans and coordinating scouting reports on upcoming opponents. Prior to that, Mathis served as head video coordinator/scout with Dallas for the previous four seasons (2006-10). He also had served as Dallas’ summer league head coach since 2009.

Prior to joining the Mavericks, Mathis spent 11 years coaching in the collegiate ranks. He came to Dallas after serving as an assistant coach at Xavier (Ohio) University. Before that, Mathis spent four seasons as an assistant coach with Ohio State University (2000-04), helping them win the Big Ten title in 2002. Prior to joining the Buckeyes, Mathis was an assistant coach for four seasons at the University of Toledo. During his tenure, he helped the Rockets to their first postseason appearance in 20 years. He also served as an assistant coach at the University of South Alabama (1995-96) and as a graduate assistant at McNeese State (1994-95). Mathis began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Woodward High School in Cincinnati.

Mathis played for Larry Brown at the University of Kansas before transferring to Toledo, where he was a two-year letter winner in baseball and basketball. After graduating from Toledo in 1991 with a bachelor of arts degree in communications, Mathis played and coached in the Atlanta Braves and Chicago White Sox farm systems for three years. His father, Mike Mathis, was an NBA referee for 25 years, while his brothers, Mick, Marty and Brian, all played college football, with Brian making it to the NFL for four seasons. Born on June 2, 1967 and a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, he and his wife, Ayrica, have a daughter, Ava (9) and a son, Mason (6).

Elie has spent nine seasons as an assistant coach in the NBA, most recently with Brooklyn for two seasons (2011-13). Before joining the Nets, he spent two seasons as an assistant coach with Sacramento (2009-11). Elie also served as an assistant coach with Dallas (2007-09), Golden State (2004-06) and San Antonio (2003-04).

Originally selected in the seventh round (160th overall) of the 1985 NBA Draft by Milwaukee, Elie played professionally in Portugal, Argentina, Ireland, the USBL, the WBL and the CBA, before making his NBA debut with Philadelphia in December 1990. After finally breaking through, he enjoyed a successful 11-year career in the NBA. Elie played in 732 career regular season NBA games (395 starts) with Philadelphia, Golden State, Portland, Houston, San Antonio and Phoenix, averaging 8.6 ppg., 2.8 rpg. and 2.6 apg. in 25.5 minpg., while shooting .365 (574-1,572) from three-point range. He also appeared in 116 career playoff outings (57 starts), averaging 8.5 ppg., 2.9 rpg. and 2.3 apg. in 26.3 minpg., while shooting .367 (90-245) from three-point range.

Elie won three NBA Championships during his career, two with Houston (1993-94, 1994-95) and one with San Antonio (1998-99). During Game #7 of the 1995 Western Conference Semifinals at Phoenix, he hit a memorable, go-ahead three-pointer with 7.1 seconds left, helping the Rockets overcome a 3-1 series deficit to defeat the Suns. Elie started all four games of the 1995 NBA Finals against Orlando, averaging 16.3 ppg., 4.3 rpg., 3.3 apg. and 2.00 stlpg. in 40.3 minpg. In 1998, he was named to the Rockets “30-Year Team” as one of the top ten players in club history.

Born on November 26, 1963 and a native of New York City, Elie played collegiately at American International College, a Division II school located in Springfield, Massachusetts. He earned a degree in human relations, speaks Spanish, Portuguese and French. Elie also worked as a pre- and postgame host for the Rockets’ FOX Sports Net telecasts during the 1996-97 campaign. He and his wife, Gina Gaston, are the parents of triplets – sons Gaston and Glenn, and daughter Lauren. Gina is the lead news anchor for KTRK-TV in Houston and has also worked as a national correspondent for MSNBC.

Henry spent the last two seasons (2013-15) as head coach of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League, compiling a regular season record of 62-38 (.620). During his first year with the Mad Ants (2013-14), he guided them to a league-best 34-16 regular season record and was named the Dennis Johnson Coach of the Year. Fort Wayne would proceed to sweep through the postseason and capture the 2013-14 NBA D-League Championship. Last season (2014-15), the Mad Ants returned to the D-League Finals, but fell to Santa Cruz.

Prior to joining Fort Wayne, Henry served as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League for two seasons (2011-13). He spent four years in the Australian Basketball League, serving as an assistant coach for the Perth Wildcats (2006-08), before becoming head coach in 2008-09. Henry then joined the Sydney Kings in 2010-11 as an assistant coach.

Originally selected in the fourth round (89th overall) of the 1986 NBA Draft by Houston, Henry played in 93 career regular season NBA games with Houston, Boston, Milwaukee and Sacramento, averaging 3.3 ppg. and 1.1 apg. in 8.1 minpg. He went on to play with Rapid City and Yakima of the CBA, where he enjoyed tremendous success. Henry was voted the CBA Player of the Year and CBA All-Star Game MVP in 1990. He was named CBA All-Star Game MVP for a second time in 1992. Henry also played professionally in Italy, Spain, France and Greece.

Born on July 21, 1963 and a native of Claremont, California, Henry played collegiately at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he scored 1,236 during his four-year career.

Magic draft Mario Hezonja 5th overall

The Orlando Magic selected guard/forward Mario Hezonja (HEH-zone-yuh) in the first round (fifth overall) of NBA Draft 2015.

Hezonja (6’8”, 218, 2/25/95) has spent the last two seasons playing in the Spanish ACB league with FC Barcelona. Last season (2014-15), he appeared in 31 regular season games, averaging 4.7 ppg., 1.9 rpg. and 1.3 apg. in 14.7 minpg., while shooting .392 (29-74) from three-point range. Hezonja also played in 22 Euroleague contests, averaging 7.7 ppg. and 2.0 rpg. in 16.5 minpg., while shooting .382 (29-76) from three-point range.

Before joining FC Barcelona in 2012-13, Hezonja spent four seasons playing in Croatia. He was a member of the Croatian Senior National Team that participated in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. While with the Junior Team, Hezonja helped Croatia win the gold medal at the 2012 U17 Worlds and bronze at both the 2011 U16 Euros and 2011 U19 Worlds. He was named MVP at the 2011 U16 Euros, averaging 20.0 ppg. and 8.2 rpg.

Coming soon, the “NBA Experience” at Disney World in Florida

The Walt Disney Company and the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced today that they have begun developing “The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort” at Disney Springs in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

This expansive, one-of-a-kind destination will feature hands-on activities that put families and guests of all ages right in the middle of NBA game action. Guests will enjoy immersive NBA video productions and numerous interactive experiences, as well as a restaurant and a retail store.

“We’re thrilled to work with the NBA to take our guests inside the world of professional basketball with an extraordinary entertainment experience,” said Robert A. Iger, chairman and chief executive officer, The Walt Disney Company. “We’ve had a long and successful partnership with the NBA through ESPN, and we will continue to build on that foundation as we bring the Disney and NBA brands together for the first time in this exciting and innovative way.”

“We look forward to uniting the passionate, global fan bases of the NBA and our longtime partner, Disney,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “Working with the world’s top creator and operator of themed entertainment attractions, we can’t wait to bring the magic of Disney and the excitement of the NBA to guests from around the world.”

Magic may hire Scott Skiles as coach

Magic may hire Scott Skiles as coach

Here’s the Orlando Sentinel reporting on the Magic, who are in need of a new head coach:

Magic may hire Scott Skiles as coach

If Skiles has maintained that kind of magnetic pull with longtime fans, well, great. Mostly, they should just hope his legendary toughness, intensity and basketball I.Q. as a gritty, sawed-off point guard can be passed down to his next-generation players.

Skiles isn’t big on reliving the old days, anyway. He and the Magic realize this mission is about the present, not the past, on both their parts.

The Magic’s front office believes it has enough talent now to close in on a playoff berth — even if a 25-57 record last season offered little proof — and it expects Skiles to get them there, ASAP.

But eventually he can only take them as far as the personnel allows, meaning GM Rob Hennigan must find Skiles a star or two through trades and/or free agency.

In Year 4 of the Dwight Howard rebuild, the Magic are looking for their coach to make a difference. They’ll replace test pilots Jacque Vaughn and James Borrego with an entirely different bench boss: a no-nonsense, no-excuse veteran who has the license to demand more from players.

Magic interview power forwards at Draft Combine

Here’s the Orlando Sentinel reporting on the Magic, who have a nice set of guards on their roster but can use some help up front:

Attempting to detect a pattern in the players a team interviews at the NBA Draft Combine is a dangerous exercise.

Orlando Magic officials, for instance, don’t disclose the names of the 18 players they spoke with during the event. Making matters more difficult: The league assigns the interviews based on the demand for specific players. So the prospects the Magic interviewed weren’t necessarily the people the Magic wanted to interview most.

But if the Magic are intent on shoring up their power forward spot through the draft, the team made some progress in its research. Team officials interviewed at least six power forward prospects during the combine — UCLA’s Kevon Looney, Kentucky’s Trey Lyles, Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky, Arkansas’ Bobby Portis, Syracuse’s Rakeem Christmas and LSU’s Jordan Mickey — those players said.

Orlando Magic GM Rob Hennigan gets contract extension

The Orlando Magic have extended the contract of General Manager Rob Hennigan, Chief Executive Officer Alex Martins announced today. Hennigan’s contract has been extended through the 2017-18 season. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.

“Under the leadership of Rob (Hennigan), we feel that we are positioning ourselves to be able to contend in a long-term, sustainable fashion,” said Martins. “We are proud of the work that Rob and our basketball operations department has done to this point and we look forward to taking the next steps in the process.”

Hennigan was named general manager of the Magic on June 20, 2012. He is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the team’s basketball operations, including day-to-day business, roster management and development, player acquisitions, salary cap management, analytical systems, and process development throughout the department. Before joining the Magic, Hennigan spent the previous four seasons (2008-12) with Oklahoma City, including his last two seasons as the Thunder’s assistant general manager/player personnel.

“It’s an honor to be a member of this organization and a privilege to work for the DeVos Family under Dan and Alex’s leadership,” said Hennigan. “I am extremely grateful for the unwavering trust and support that our entire organization demonstrates as we continue building our team for competitive longevity and one in which all of Central Florida can be proud.”

Prior to joining the Thunder, Hennigan spent four seasons with the San Antonio Spurs. He was named director of basketball operations in September of 2007. Hennigan began as an intern during the 2004-05 season and was later named the team’s basketball operations assistant during the summer of 2005. The Spurs won the NBA World Championship in 2004-05 and 2006-07.

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