The Orlando Magic had a successful draft in which they filled some serious needs. Aaron Gordon will be the defensive anchor of the Magic’s frontcourt, and Elfrid Payton will team up with Victor Oladipo to form one of the most feared two-way backcourts in the NBA.
All of this comes as general manager Rob Hennigan is facing some heat from Magic fans about his draft choices. Take a trip to the Magic’s Facebook site and you will see what I mean. Some Magic fans are calling Gordon and Payton first-round flops, and they have not even played a summer league game for the team yet. Some fans are even calling for Hennigan to be fired.
Those fans have every right to voice their concerns about the team, but what those fans fail to realize is that Hennigan came into his new role in Orlando with a blueprint, and he has followed that blueprint to a tee. He traded for Tobais Harris, and he is on track to become an All-Star in the near future. He went with Oladipo despite many critics calling out his supposed lack of an outside shot, and he is poised to be the Magic’s leading scorer next season with an ever improving jump shot.
Every move Hennigan has made has been a good one. Have there been growing pains? Yes. But when you are rebuilding a franchise basically from the ground up, you are bound to experience some pain. Hennigan has quietly assembled a team that could make a run at the playoffs next season, and free agency has yet to begin.
Thanks to Hennigan, Orlando finally has a GM who is looking towards the future and shying away from big money contracts that could hamper the team’s salary cap. Hennigan is doing it the right way, and we should be praising him, not panning him.