When the Magic hired Rob Hennigan, they made no hiding the fact that the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs are their models. With the Thunder in town last week, there was glowing praise for Hennigan as a talent evaluator and for what he is beginning to build in Orlando.
The top two seeds in the Western Conference are solid models for the organization. They are both located in small markets nad have established themselves as two of the best franchises in the league. The Spurs have been constant contenders since winning the championship in 1999 and have virtually been in the Playoffs and title hunt since Duncan was drafted in 1997. That is 15 years of excellence.
The Magic have hired numerous people from that lineage to help reshape their franchise. Rob Hennigan was an intern with the Spurs before joining the Sonics/Thunder organization as a scout with Sam Presti (a former Spurs executive himself).
These two organizations are clearly the models Orlando wants to follow for sustained championship-level success in a small market.
Last Friday, with the Thunder in town, the Magic got a close up look of the organization they are openly trying to emulate. They saw a team that went through growing pains by losing in a difficult fashion for two or three seasons, stockpiling draft picks and making smart decisions in the Draft.
Oklahoma City drafted Kevin Durant after Portland selected Greg Oden and then took Russell Westbrook with the the fourth pick in the Draft.
Orlando is only at the beginning of this process. The Magic's future is much murkier. There is some nice young talent but no cornerstones to build the franchise around. Orlando is still waiting for its Kevin Durant to begin building that championship team.no comments