Orlando Magic President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman joined Scott Anez to discuss his first offseason with the Magic, his plans for the team and more.
Newly signed Orlando Magic shooting guard Jonathan Simmons joined Scott Anez on ESPN 580 to talk about his journey to the NBA, why he left the San Antonio Spurs, why he chose the Orlando Magic and a lot more.
Newly signed Orlando Magic PG Shelvin Mack joined Scott Anez to talk about how he will fit with his new team.
Orlando Magic President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman joined Scott Anez to discuss the Magic drafting Jonathan Isaac and Wesley Iwundu, trading the 25th and 35th picks and his expectations for free agency.
The Orlando Magic selected Kansas State F Wesley Iwundu with the 33rd pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. The newly minted Orlando Magic forward spoke with Scott Anez about what he brings to Orlando, his journey to the NBA and more.
Newly drafted Orlando Magic forward and FSU product Jonathan Isaac spoke with Scott Anez about being drafted by the Magic at No.6, his playing style and why he decided not to work out for teams outside the top 4.
ESPN NBA Analyst Jeff Goodman joined Scott Anez to discuss the NBA Draft and who the Orlando Magic should select with the #6 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Orlando Magic General Manager John Hammond joined Scott Anez to talk about the Magic's plans in the NBA Draft on Thursday night. Hammond on:
Bobby Marks, Front Office Insider for Yahoo! Sports The Vertical joined Scott Anez to discuss what the Orlando Magic should do with the #6 pick in NBA Draft, whether Paul George and Jimmy Butler will get traded and if the Knicks will move Kristaps Porzingis.
How did newly hired Orlando Magic GM John Hammond leave the Milwaukee Bucks for O-Town? Hammond joined Scott Anez on ESPN 580 to talk about his new gig in Orlando, the NBA Draft and more.
Former Orlando Magic General Manager and newly hired consultant/advisor with the team John Gabriel joined Scott Anez to talk about his new role with the organization.
Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins joined Scott Anez on ESPN Afternoons with Scott Anez Wednesday to discuss the organization hiring President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman and General Manager John Hammond.
The Orlando Magic officially introduced new President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman to the media on Wednesay. After the press conference, Jeff Weltman joined Scott Anez to talk about his journey to becoming the man in charge in Orlando.
Tuesday was a HOME RUN DAY for the Orlando Magic and CEO Alex Martins!
Not only do the Magic hire Jeff Weltman as the new President of Basketball Operations—on Tuesday afternoon it was announced that the Magic had come to terms with Bucks GM John Hammond to take the general manager’s gig here in O-Town.
OH HAPPY DAY!
I have said it many times over the last several weeks on ESPN Afternoons with Scott Anez-- It is high time for this franchise to reclaim its big, bad and bold status again. It’s time for this team, after five years of “process” and “organic growth”, to become the Orlando Magic again.
Whether it was Shaq, Penny or signing Horace Grant. Whether it was going out and inking Hall of Famer Chuck Daly to a megadeal or getting Dr. J, Julius Erving, to work in the front office Whether it was this team going out and signing free agent Rashard Lewis--there was always a buzz about the Orlando Magic.
Over the last five years, not so much.
But the hiring of both of these experienced, savvy basketball men is the best thing that has happened to this organization in a long, long time.
Will Weltman and Hammond score a single bucket for the Magic in the future? No.
Will these guys be able to run the pick and roll? Hit three pointers?
But, Magic fans, this is a start---a great start on the road to recovery.
Hammond, with some 35 years of NBA experience, comes to Orlando after nine seasons as the boss in Milwaukee.
Under Hammond’s guidance, the Bucks made the playoffs in four of those years—but most importantly, Hammond fingerprints are currently all over a team that has transformed into a young, long, lanky, athletic buzzworthy basketball team.
Oh, and did I mention that Hammond, with Weltman by his side, drafted Giannis Antetokounmpo 15th overall back in 2013? Not sure if I mentioned that or not…
We’ve gotten back to our big, bad and bold roots again.
Thank you basketball gods.
The Twitterverse can be a scary place.
But it’s interesting to read some of the comments from Toronto Raptor fans about the hiring of Jeff Weltman as the Magic’s new President of Basketball Operations.
Here are some of the highlighted posts…
Smart move by Orlando to get a good manager and our research in one move.
Why does Orlando love our people. Man first Bismack then T-ross and now Jeff Weltman. Dam what’s next they gonna take bruno (Raptor player Bruno Caboclo) too?
We’re trading everything to Orlando?
A number of things jump out at me about the Magic’s new front office boss.
No, he does not have experience in being thee man in running his own organization. But he is an NBA lifer. His father was an executive in Cleveland and St. Louis (ABA). Jeff, 52, has worked in several capacities for almost thirty years around the NBA in such cities as Toronto, Detroit, Milwaukee, Denver and the LA Clippers. From what I am hearing, his reputation is as solid as can be in NBA circles. Last month, when I asked Magic CEO Alex Martins what his number one priority would be with the new hire, he told me, experience. Weltman has plenty of it even though that experience does not include being the number one boss.
2… Weltman is not David Griffin.
Orlando’s perceived target for the gig, Cav GM Griffin, is under contract until July 1 in Cleveland. If you believe the reports, the Magic were having a very difficult time communicating with Griffin. For the life of me I don’t understand why the dude has not been signed to an extension in Cleveland, but that’s a tangled web for the Magic. If he were to become a free agent so to speak, it would not come until after the NBA Draft and right as free agency is starting. The timing would be very tricky for a basketball operations department that craves leadership going into a very important summer.
3…Weltman’s body of work includes improving struggling basketball teams.
Let’s tell it like it is…The Orlando Magic have struggled over the last five years…To the tune of 132-278. It’s the second worst record in the NBA in that span (Philly is the worst). We need a pick-me-up. Weltman spent 13 years with the Clippers, six with the Nuggets and five years with the Bucks before joining the Raptors in 2013. In his final year in L.A., the Clippers improved their win total by 16 games. Denver, in 2003-04, the Nuggets won 49 games, improving their win total by 26. In Milwaukee, Weltman was part of a front office team that drafted Giannis Antetokounmpo. Enough said.
Is this the splashy hire that I was hoping for? Griffin would have been splashy, McHale? Splashy. Bird? Ditto. Doc Rivers, yup. Jerry West, most certainly.
But, time will eventually tell the tale.
From everything I hear about Jeff Weltman, this is a solid hire by the Orlando Magic.
Magic interim GM Matt Lloyd joins ESPN Afternoons with Scott Anez to talk about the upcoming NBA Draft.
ESPN Radio host Mike Greenberg, co-host of MIke & Mike, joined Scott Anez to talk about the NBA Playoffs, the NHL Playoffs, the unprecedented play of LeBron James and whether or not LeBron has surpassed Michael Jordan.
Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain joined Scott Anez on ESPN Orlando to address the Caleb Brantley arrest, and talk about his team's upcoming season.
Recently, a story broke that the Orlando Magic are interested in Cleveland Cavalier General Manager David Griffin filling the GM vacancy here in Orlando.
My three Hot Takes?
1…I love it!
I love the fact that the Magic and CEO Alex Martins are thinking big again. Enough with the small ball-‘process’ stuff. What we need here in Orlando are dudes! I like the fact that the Magic are thinking big in terms of the next GM and there’s no question that Griffin would be a big catch. Experience is at the top of my criteria list for the next guy. Having been down the assistant to the assistant role here in Orlando over the last five years, that didn’t work out very well. Griffin has the experience of running an organization. Experience matters.
2…How good a GM is Griffin?
That’s a difficult question to answer.
We all know that the reason why the Cavs won the East two seasons ago and then won the title last year is LeBron James. Heck, there are alotta folks who believe that LBJ is the Cavs’ owner, GM, coach and player. So, while Griffin has presided over the Cavs during this outstanding run, it’s been a pretty simple formula in Cleveland—LBJ wants to come back…You get him back...He wants guys around him...You go get ‘em.
Now, you look at the moves Griffin has made in putting periphery pieces in place and he’s been very successful.
He went out and got Timofey Mozgov. He got JR Smith and Iman Shumpert. Griffin saved Richard Jefferson from the NBA scrap heap. Speaking of said heap, Griffin traded for former Magic player Channing Frye. He made the deal for Kevin Love. He got Andrew Bogut before he suffered the season ending injury this year.
Remember, Griffin also fired Coach David Blatt midway through last season and hired Ty Lue, who eventually led Cleveland to its first major pro sports title since 1964.
So, yes, David Griffin has a chip, LeBron, on the table that no one else in the league has.
But the truth of the matter is, Griffin has done an exceptional job putting the pieces around LBJ.
3…Why is Griffin a lame duck GM in Cleveland?
Contract negotiations have stalled between he and owner Dan Gilbert.
But, one would think, a guy who has presided over a conference champ and an NBA champ in the last two years would be signed and sealed by now, right?
Bizarre. It makes no sense why Griffin has not gotten an extension. Heck, even LeBron was quoted as saying so earlier this month.
So, I wonder, is there something personal going on between Griffin and Gilbert?
I also wonder if Griffin using the Magic vacancy as a bargaining chip to get a larger than usual deal with his Cavs?
If the Cavs win back-to-back titles, I just don’t see how Gilbert can allow Griffin to walk to Orlando.
So, bottom line, says Anez Sez, is that I love the fact that the Magic are looking at Griffin.
Do I have some questions about how good a GM he is? Sure I do. But he has the experience of being in the hot seat.
I just hope he’s not using the Magic gig to get a whopper of a deal in Cleveland.
Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins spoke with Scott Anez about the dismissal of Magic General Manager Rob Hennigan after 5 seasons.
It was time for the Orlando Magic to make the move
The Magic fired General Manager Rob Hennigan today.
Unlike last year, when Coach Scott Skiles’ resignation came as a shocker to many, the firing of Rob did not come out of the blue. This move was very much expected.
After all, t’s been five years of futility.
Granted, Rob did not have a whole lotta luck in the NBA Draft Lottery. Then again, as he even told me a few months ago, you have to go out and make your own luck in this league. Rob never did that.
The 2013 Draft was about as bad as it gets in terms of the crop of talent. Rob took Victor Oladipo with the #2 selection. Victor, after the Serge Ibaka trade last summer, is now in OKC.
In 2014, he selected Aaron Gordon and traded for Elfrid Payton.
Decent picks? Yes. Aaron could be very good in the future. Jury’s still out on Payton.
In 2015, with the 5th overall pick, Rob took Mario Hezonja.
After two years in the NBA, Mario has done nothing to prove that he can be a difference maker in this league.
But, the way the rebuilding model was constructed, Rob had to have a star, a lynchpin for the organization for years to come.
The list of his free agent signings over the last five years has left much to be desired. Again, Rob stuck to his plan of trying to build through the draft while surrounding them with ‘moneyball’ veteran guys who were cap friendly.
Go up and down the list---Jason Maxiell, E’twaun Moore, Channing Frye, Ben Gordon, Devyn Marble, CJ Watson, Keith Appling, Bismack Biyombo, Jeff Green. I can’t find one of those guys, not one, who actually panned out to help this team on a consistent basis.
It was a mixed bag for Rob Hennigan in Orlando.
You can make a case that the best deal he made was the first deal he made. In 2012, Dwight Howard had the Magic over a barrel and everyone around the league knew that they were desperate to get something in return for him before he walked for nothing in free agency.
Rob dealt a disgruntled Dwight to the Lakers. In that trade, the Magic, essentially, got Nik Vucevic , Mo Harkless and a pick that became Elfrid Payton.
Rob made another solid deal in giving up Arron Afflalo to Denver for Evan Fournier.
But, overall, there were some bad deals that would ensue.
Tobias Harris to Detroit for Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilysova was a move designed to help the Magic make a playoff push last year---a push that never happened. Eventually, cap room would be gained by the deal, but Jennings and Ilysova never keyed that late season push.
Last summer, Rob pulled the trigger on the Serge Ibaka for Victor Oladipo, Ilysova and Domantas Sabonis deal. Yet, Ibaka is now in Toronto after the in-season trade to get Terrence Ross and a first round draft pick, which due to a tie breaker, will be anywhere from 23-26 this year.
In the end, the great thing about the NBA is you always know where you stand. This is a scoreboard league and the scoreboard on Monday night in Chicago told us all we need to know about the state of the Orlando Magic—Bulls 122 Magic 75.
Ball don’t lie. Scoreboard don’t lie.
The Magic gave Rob Hennigan five years for his plan to take shape.
The plan did not work
It was a time for a change.
For the fifth straight season, the Orlando Magic will not make the playoffs.
On Thursday, they will hold their exit interviews and then all scatter for the summer.
So, as we look ahead to the final couple of games of the season, we also look ahead to Thursday—which could very well be a bloody Thursday at One Magic Place.
Will the Magic fire General Manager Rob Hennigan?
I don’t know the answer to that question.
But if I were king for a day, this would be the end of the line for Rob.
It’s been five years—five long years—the longest this proud franchise has ever gone not making the NBA Playoffs.
This is a scoreboard league, and the scoreboard says that this team under Rob’s direction is going in the wrong direction. 35 wins last season. This year, this team will be lucky to get to 30.
I believe it’s time for a different set of eyes. I believe it’s time for a fresh start. I believe basketball operations desperately needs a new culture put in place.
I don’t know of any GM in this league who would be given a longer leash than what Rob has had here in Orlando. Magic ownership gave Rob five years for that plan to work. The plan did not work. It’s time to move on.
So, the next logical question is, if the Magic do make a move in firing Rob, who would be the prime target to lead the Basketball Operations Department?
I wish I could tell you that I have the inside scoop on this…but I don’t.
I can tell you this---my main criteria has always been experience.
Give me a name, ala Magic Johnson in Los Angeles
Give me someone who has a cache--someone who gives this franchise a marquee again. Give me a person who can get out there in the free agent market and turn people’s heads and make them think Orlando again.
Who is that guy?
He’s not Doc Rivers.
I, along with some of you, was played by Doc a few weeks ago when he planted that story out in L.A. about him coming back to Orlando. That was disingenuous. I’m out!
I do like Pat Garrity, a former Magic player.
Pat is working under Stan Van Gundy in Detroit right now. Pat is a really smart guy who would come into Orlando with one agenda—winning. That’s it.
Now, does Pat he have that swag that is gonna attract big time free agents to Orlando again? Maybe Maybe not.
Let me throw out another name at you…..
Grant’s name has been out there for a while now
I would love to see Grant Hill back with the Orlando Magic.
He’s got the name—he’s got the smarts---he’s got the class—he’s got the experience of playing the game and watching and commenting on the college game over the last several years.
Now, I think this possibility may be a bit of a longshot because of the fact that Grant does have minority ownership in the Atlanta Hawks and also enjoys a nice little NCAA Tourney gig with CBS Sports
But, of all the names that I have seen out there. Grant’s name is the most impressive and makes the most sense in leading basketball operations into the future for the Orlando Magic.
Now, you’d have to put a person below Grant, someone who is gonna work it 24-7, but I love the idea of Grant coming back to this Magic organization.
Whatever the case may be, I think it’s time for a fresh start in the front office.
This is gonna be a very interesting week, and a very pivotal summer, for the Orlando Magic.
Former Orlando Magic G and newly elected Pro Basketball Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady joined Scott Anez to talk about getting elected into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, his days with the Orlando Magic and more.
Much is being made about the photo that was tweeted out yesterday by a player agent---the photo of new Magic player Patricio Garrino signing a contract in the Orlando Magic office.
Garrino signing the contract was not the interesting part of the photo.
The interesting part was what was pictured in back of Garrino as he was inking the deal. (SEE PHOTO BELOW)
In the background, you can very easily see a dry erase board that lists potential trade possibilities and free agent targets.
Look--every NBA front office has this kind of information. Every front office has some kind of dry erase board being used to detail options for the summer ahead. This is not out of ordinary by any means.
What is out of the ordinary is these pictures being sent out for the entire world to see.
Magic GM Rob Hennigan did tell the Orlando Sentinel that the lists are not indicative of plans and that he was simply listing options including some of which other teams have inquired about.
Perhaps the player agent snapped the epic photo when Magic folks were out of the room for a brief second---I don’t know what happened.
But I am shocked that it did happen.
The photo has since been taken off of social media, but the damage was done.
We’ve talked a lot about Rob Hennigan and his tenuous future with the organization after five years of losing basketball. But, if there’s one thing that Rob has not done over the last five years—he has not run a loose ship.
Over the last five years, it’s been the exact opposite. Rob has operated in much secrecy. He has battened down the hatches in terms of any potential leaks to the media or anyone else in the front office. The entire organization has been in stealth mode for five years now.
The KGB has nothing on Rob Hennigan!
That’s why this picture on twitter yesterday shocked me.
What did it tell me? Not a whole lot. Like I said, every front office has these types of lists, number one.
Secondly, we don’t know if Rob Hennigan is gonna be here in a few weeks to potentially carry out what’s on this list. So I don’t put a lot of stock on what we saw on that board.
Bottom line is that this picture being tweeted out for the world to see cannot happen.
It’s just another part of another difficult NBA season in Orlando.
UCF C Tacko Fall joined Scott Anez to talk about UCF's historic NIT win over Illinois and his interest in playing in the NBA.