Rob Hennigan: Magic 99% set for Draft


With nearly 24 hours before the NBA Draft, the Magic are still weighing every option available to them and have narrowed their list to a handful of players, Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said in a pre-Draft press conference Wednesday at Amway Center.

With the Draft closing in, most of the work has been done and now it seems it is about waiting to see what happens when the Magic are finally on the clock.

"We've done I'd say 99 percent of the work up to this point," Hennigan said. "There are still a few discussion points we have to work through I think. We're going to take the player we feel is the best player for us. Whoever Cleveland takes, we'll not be able to select that player but we'll have our order thereafter and work off of that."

Cleveland is thought to be interested in taking Nerlens Noel, Alex Len or Otto Porter. Noel and Porter have been in Orlando for individual workouts and interviews. There is no information suggesting the Magic have had much contact with Len. Assuming the Cavaliers take Noel, it is widely assumed the Magic would select between Ben McLemore and Victor Oladipo.

None of this could mean anything as Hennigan repeated the Magic will pick the player they feel best fits their organization and best fits the Magic regardless of whether they worked the player out or not.

"I think we tried to be as thorough as we can," Hennigan said. "We tried to do as much research as we can. At the same time, the amount of guys we brought in for consideration for our pick is indicative of the kind of draft it is."

It is a Draft that lacks top-flight players, but still several players that figure to become solid players in the NBA moving forward. Orlando has put an emphasis on the research aspect throughout the Draft process. The Magic have a big decision ahead of them.

Of course, some of those opportunities might be moot if the Magic end up trading the pick. That is something Hennigan did not rule out Wednesday afternoon.

"We've had a lot of discussion about moving the pick, a lot of discussion about keeping the pick," Hennigan said. "As we've said all along, opportunistic is the word of the day. We're going to be opportunistic where we can be and will consider all the options that are thrown our way. I would say yes, there is still significant interest in our pick."

Hennigan mentioned specifically the growing rumors that the Magic will trade Arron Afflalo to the Clippers for Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler. Hennigan said the Magic had not been in contact with the Clippers for at least three weeks and that any reports that a trade is imminent would be news to him. He had "missed that memo." He said he did not know where these reports were coming from and that he would be "stunned" if an Eric Bledsoe deal happened Thursday night.

Hennigan also said he has had talks with several teams in the last few weeks, but categorized all the talks as "exploratory" at this point. That can change quickly as the deadline of the Draft comes up.

All the options for the Magic appear still to be on the table with the Draft coming up quickly. The good news is there are few variables in the actual selection and the Magic have the choice in sorting through most of those options.

"The good thing for us is we only have to figure out what one team is doing," Hennigan said. "It makes it a little bit easier but also makes it difficult. We've played through scenarios in our mind. But the bulk of our time has been spent on trying to figure out what's the best decision for us to make."