Orlando Magic vice president of basketball operations Matt Lloyd is set to join the Minnesota Timberwolves’ new front office staff with the same title, leaving the Magic after a decade with the team. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN first reported the news.
Lloyd has been in charge of the Magic’s college scouting and draft preparations for much of his tenure in Orlando. He is one of the few front-office executives brought in by Rob Hennigan who remained with the team after the team hired Jeff Weltman.
The man who is in charge of the Orlando Magic’s scouting and draft process appears set to join the Minnesota Timberwolves’ staff after a decade with the Magic.
His main role after he was hired as assistant general manager by Hennigan and continuing on with Weltman (he was promoted to vice president of basketball operations before this past season) was to oversee the team’s professional, college and international scouting departments.
He had a big hand in organizing the Magic’s draft for the last decade although he was not the one ultimately making the decisions on who to pick.
Lloyd is known for his extensive scouting network and relationships throughout the league. He started his executive career with the Chicago Bulls in 1994 as a gameday and special projects employee in the video room and began working full-time for them in 1999.
It is hard to replace that kind of front office experience.
Lloyd has been a candidate to be a general manager for a few years now too. And Tim Connelly, the recently installed president of basketball operations, likely is bringing Matt Lloyd in for a much more involved role with his front office. Lloyd represents the first major hire for the former Denver Nuggets executive as he assembles his staff for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
This obviously happens at a bit of an odd time for the team and organization.
The Magic hold the first overall pick in the draft in a draft where there is no clear decision. A lot of the attention on the team is focused on who the Magic will pick between Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero.
To be sure, it is not an easy decision. And it is not likely the Magic have made that call quite yet.
The good news is that Lloyd said on a recent episode of Mic’d Up from Bally Sports that most of the Magic’s draft preparations are done.
Especially when it comes to the top pick, the team likely only needs to get the players in person to complete their evaluations and begin making their decisions.
He is leaving the Magic in a good place to move forward.
The Magic are also seemingly likely to move quickly to fill that role as they begin preparations for Summer League — a big event for scouting and finding players under the radar as teams constantly work to build their profiles on players throughout the league.
Internally, this seems like a potential promotion for assistant general manager Anthony Parker.
Parker was promoted to assistant general manager in October after spending the previous four seasons as the general manager of the Lakeland Magic. He was a scout for the Magic from 2012-17 before being named the general manager in Lakeland and is one of the few holdovers in a prominent position from Hennigan’s tenure.
That is a job that necessarily requires good scouting and understanding of personnel in the league and beyond. Being in the G-League and successfully building a championship team in 2021 but also a contender for several years before that is a good line on the resume.
But of course, the Magic could be looking throughout the league to find the right person to lead their scouting efforts.
Obviously, it is always tough to see a key part of the franchise moving on. It is a credit to Weltman and the culture and people he has around him that a new executive would look to poach someone off the Magic’s staff in this high-profile way.
Like with everything else, Weltman will have to continue looking to hire and find the right people for his support staff.
Considering the Magic are still in a rebuild, finding the right person to lead his scouting department will be absolutely vital so he has the best information to make the decisions to push this franchise forward.