Orlando Magic president of basketball operations has always valued experience around him.
When he arrived in Orlando for his first job as the head of a basketball operations department, he brought with him nearly two decades of front-office experience but lacked experience in the lead chair.
That is why he brought alongside a partner in John Hammond.
The two were seemingly joined at the hip — fans even called the front office “Welt-Ham” becuase of how closely the two seemed tied together. It felt like they were feeding off each other.
Hammond was someone he had worked with in previous stops around the NBA. He had been in the lead chair with the Milwaukee Bucks — famously drafting Giannis Antetokounmpo — and would be an advisor to fill in the gaps in Weltman’s already voluminous experience.
After six years at the helm for the Magic, and after building the AdventHealth Training Center as one of his key projects for this franchise, it is safe to say Weltman has put his imprint on his team.
The Orlando Magic are reorganizing their front office making some internal promotions as John Hammond steps out of the spotlight. Jeff Weltman continues to put his imprint on this franchise with these changes and its internal development.
While Hammond is often credited with the ultra focus on length and versatility, Weltman has shared that philosophy. And now in the midst of a strong start to his rebuild, Weltman is making this team truly his own.
Now the front office is going through some changes too.
The Magic announced Wednesday the front office was going through some reorganization under Weltman as president of basketball operations. And that restructuring certainly mirrors the kind of philosophies Weltman has brought to the team.
The biggest change is the promotion of Anthony Parker to general manager with John Hammond now moving to a senior advisory role — a role similar to the one held by former Magic general manager John Gabriel. The Magic are also promoting Pete D’Alessandro to executive vice president of basketball operations.
"“We are excited for John’s well-deserved next chapter,” Weltman said in a press release from the Magic. “He has, and will continue to be, an invaluable resource. His experience has helped set the table for the Magic’s future and we look forward to continuing to lean on him in regard to everything from player evaluation to player development. . . .“We are equally excited for Anthony and Pete in their well-deserved promotions. Anthony brings a unique perspective to our group as a former player and it has been great to watch his progression from player to scout to G League GM to the Magic’s assistant general manager. Anthony is the ultimate team player and we look forward to his continued leadership, experience and energy.”"
Parker’s rise through the Magic organization is probably the hallmark of all the developmental tools and philosophies the Magic have.
Parker, the longtime NBA journeyman and EuroLeague star, joined the Magic as a scout in 2012 and stayed on with the team when Weltman took over in 2017.
He was assigned then to be the general manager of the Lakeland Magic where he guided the G-League team to 94 regular season wins, tied for the most regular season wins during the four years Parker was in charge of Lakeland. This included winning the G-League championship in the bubble during the 2021 season.
Parker then got promoted to assistant general manager, working directly with the Magic’s front office. He has spent the past two seasons in that role.
Weltman has helped a ton with Parker’s professional development as he has worked his way up the Magic’s front office. He has certainly earned the attention and this promotion.
Pete D’Alessandro is not the most front-facing member of the Magic’s front office team, but he is a critical member of the group.
Weltman brought him to Orlando back in 2017. The former Sacramento Kings general manager has essentially served as the team’s resident cap-ologist.
The Magic have been pretty well known for their forward-thinking way of using the cap, often structuring contracts with front-loaded salary amounts or declining contract structures. Even this offseason, the Magic overpaid some on the first year of the two deals they handed out but left team options to maintain flexibility in the second year.
You can see how they work together in the Magic’s All-Access video at the Draft:
Everything is a team effort, of course. They all work together.
And Weltman is the one ultimately making the decisions in the end. He has always been the one making the decisions in the end even though fans sometimes associated general manager as the decisionmaker for this team.
Weltman is losing a trusted advisor with Hammond. At least day-to-day. Hammond will still be around and still be a shoulder Weltman can lean on. But he will be taking a step back from the everyday operations.
Still, this is a big step forward for Weltman. Not that he could not handle things on his own — he is plenty experienced — but he is truly making this team completely his own. The rebuild signaled his ability to make the team his own.
That philosophy has moved to his front office too where he has promoted internally and developed his own future executives.
Not that Parker has not earned his spot. He has seemingly succeeded at every stage and at every job he has held for the team.
This team though — from the team on the floor to the executives advising and helping him — is undeniably Jeff Weltman’s team though. It follows his philosophies and his belief in people as much as anything.
Weltman has done well to position the Magic to be “the team of the future” for sure. And his team has earned all the praise as they continue to nurse this young team up the NBA ladder.
A reorganized front office is not going to change any of that. If anything, it should get the same faith Weltman is getting or should get in building his team. That team is built both on and off the court it would appear.