NBA’s Youngest GM Let Go
The Orlando Magic fired general manager Rob Hennigan on Thursday after a five-season tenure without a playoff appearance, team CEO Alex Martins announced.
Assistant general manager Matt Lloyd will take over as interim GM and will be considered for the full-time job. The team is slated to have the No. 5 overall pick with a 10.3 percent chance of winning next month’s draft lottery.
Assistant general manager Scott Perry was also fired. Coach Frank Vogel, who led the Magic to a 29-53 record and their fifth straight last-place finish in the Southeast Division, is in the first year of a long-term contract and is expected to be retained.
Hennigan, 35, was the NBA’s youngest general manager.
“We appreciate Rob’s efforts to rebuild the team, but feel we have not made any discernible improvement over the last few years specifically,” Martins said in a statement. “It’s time for different leadership in basketball operations. We certainly wish Rob and his family well.”
League sources say Orlando has interest in hiring former Magic star Grant Hill as its new face of basketball operations, but sources told ESPN’s Marc Stein on Thursday that Hill has no plans to leave his minority ownership role with the Atlanta Hawks.
As ESPN reported March 20, Golden State Warriors assistant general manager Travis Schlenk and Detroit Pistons executive Pat Garrity are expected to emerge as candidates for the GM post. Schlenk broke into the league with Orlando, and Garrity is another former Magic player.
The Magic were 132-278 (.322) — the second-worst mark in the NBA — during Hennigan’s tenure. His draft record was not strong as he made three top-five picks — Victor Oladipo, Aaron Gordon and Mario Hezonja — and failed to produce an instant star.
Several of his major trades also fizzled, the most recent being the acquisition of Serge Ibaka in June, which cost the Magic a lottery pick. Ibaka was traded to the Toronto Raptors in February. Trading away Tobias Harris and the draft rights to Rookie of the Year candidate Dario Saric did not help.
Hennigan’s first major move was trading Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers in a three-team deal in 2012 that signaled the beginning of a rebuilding phase after he was hired.
Hennigan was under contract through next season.