The Orlando Magic trade that changed the future of the franchise
Rob Hennigan was hired five years ago by the Orlando Magic as the youngest general manager in NBA history. The Orlando Magic decided to move on from the Hennigan era at the end of the 2016-2017 NBA season. As the NBA draft looms ahead Thursday, let’s revisit the franchise altering trade.
The Orlando Magic gave Rob Hennigan a tough first job assignment. That assignment was to make a decision on disgruntled superstar Dwight Howard. The goal as tough as it may have been, was a no brainer for the Magic– receive compensation for a rebuild.
Dwight Howard informed the Orlando Magic he would welcome a trade to two NBA teams – The Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers. Ultimately, the Magic struck a blockbuster trade to send Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Hennigan seemed to have made the right move at the time. The Orlando Magic fan base seemed to believe they received far too little in face value. As of today, the Orlando Magic roster G Elfrid Payton, C Nikola Vucevic and G Evan Fournier from the results of that trade scenario.
Not a bad haul of players to build around.
But looking back at that trade, the Magic could’ve done better to accept the Brooklyn Nets deal. Indirectly, the team could’ve had a better chance in draft years 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 by finishing closer to the bottom three of each seasons standings increasing their draft positions assuming the Magic never acquire Vucevic, Fournier, or Payton.
The Trade The Orlando Magic Passed On
If the Magic had accepted the Nets deal, those picks would look a bit like this:
It’s beginning to look like the Orlando Magic would have done better to accept the Brooklyn Nets proposal. The Magic would have had the number one pick in this year’s draft. Potentially, they could have had the number one pick in next year’s draft as well. Essentially they could be in the Boston Celtics current position minus the playoff success.
It’s easy to look back five years later and speak about what looks better but at that moment the Magic took what seemed like the best deal available.