At this point there is no doubt that the Magic will go into this Thursday’s NBA Draft without a head coach. New general manager Rob Hennigan is resting a lot of the Magic’s draft work on the legwork and information the Magic’s scouting staff did and the work he did as the head of the Thunder’s scouting program.
Hennigan is also starting to put his imprint on the franchise.
Everyone knew change was coming up and down in the franchise. Hennigan did not waste any time.
The surprising move likely came today when the Magic let go of their “rising star” and the person many suspected was going to be an assistant general manager or an understudy to the new guy. Adonal Foyle’s last day with the Magic was Monday, however. He broke the news in his no-hard-feelings way on Facebook today:
It is an unfortunate loss, but it also shows the freedom Hennigan has been given already. Foyle was a franchise favorite and a guy Otis Smith and many liked having around.
This firing is the highest profile firing in Hennigan’s reshuffling of the Magic’s basketball operations department. Hennigan also let assistant general manager Dave Twardzik go, along with six scouts. Twardzik has been with the Magic since the Jon Weisbrod days, with him and Otis Smith serving as his basketball advisers in a lot of ways. Even though Smith took the head job, Twardzik still had a prominent role in the front office.
Obviously Hennigan is looking to change a culture inside the Magic’s front office. Orlando is pretty much replacing all of its advance, college and international scouts ahead of this season. Hennigan brings with him the drafting pedigree of the Spurs and Thunder, and so this seems like a move by him to bring in his people or, again, change the culture inside the Magic’s scouting department.
It appears Hennigan has already hired one of “his guys” too. Chris Broussard of ESPN.com reported the Magic hired Pistons vice president of basketball operations Scott Perry to be the team’s assistant general manager.
It is still a little early to say what exactly this all means for the Magic and what Hennigan has in store for the franchise. A small clue likely gets revealed Thursday when fans see him in action making decisions for the first time.