The frustration over a disappointing season for the Orlando Magic has been growing and growing as the team seems to fall further and further behind in the standings. The team entered the year with Playoff aspirations after remaking their roster. They have fallen well short of those expectations.
It was widely assumed and believed after all these changes the Magic would not keep Rob Hennigan if this team failed to make the Playoffs. The Magic’s current four-year playoff drought is the longest in franchise history. And with the team’s poor record and play, there seems little hope of an immediate turnaround.
Even with the trade deadline coming up, the Magic are not going to make a change at the top now. They will follow their normal evaluations and postseason decision making before moving forward into the offseason.
“We don’t evaluate any of our individuals in midseason,” Martins said when asked by the Orlando Sentinel about Hennigan’s job security. “Traditionally, we do that in a very comprehensive fashion at the end of each season, and this season is no different.”
This is usual procedure for the Magic. They evaluate their staff and personnel after every season. It does not seem the Magic will break with this before coming to a decision.
That means Rob Hennigan, at the very least, will direct the Magic through the NBA’s trade deadline next Thursday. It is a big one that could very well set the Magic up for the next few seasons and what directions they can grow and move through.
Hennigan, to his credit, said in interviews conducted earlier this month he is cognizant and understanding of the pressure put on him. He understands why there are fans itching for progress. But he said he is not worried about his job security. He said he will do what is in the team’s best interest rather than a splashy move to save his own job.
Only time will tell if that turns out to be true.
This season is on track to represent the first real setback since Hennigan took over and traded Dwight Howard, beginning this massive rebuild project. The Magic progressed from 20 to 23 to 25 to 35 wins in the first four years of the rebuild. It was slow but steady progress centered on draft picks and young players.
But the Magic made many of the moves they did to pull the team into the serious Playoff discussions. The wait, it seemed was over.
Of course, there might be some extenuating circumstances to the Magic’s rebuild. The surprise resignation of Scott Skiles put the franchise into some turmoil this summer. There may be a going thought that Hennigan and coach Frank Vogel should get a second year together.
Ultimately, though, responsibility for this poor season falls on the decision maker who put the team together. For whatever good Hennigan has done or might have done, this season with all its attendant pressures and risks fall on him.
For sure, the Magic are faced with a big decision this offseason in determining their future. And that first big decision comes at the trade deadline.