In their illustrious 25-year history, the Magic have made incredible splashes through the draft lottery (landing Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway and Dwight Howard) and in free agency (signing Horace Grant, Tracy McGrady, Grant Hill and Rashard Lewis). That allowed Orlando to build NBA Finalists in 1995 and 2009. But not only did those teams miss out on the ultimate prize of a NBA championship, they were also unable to sustain their success following the defections of O’Neal, Hardaway and Howard.

The latest era of Magic basketball will likely be defined by how well Hennigan and his team of Assistant VPs Scott Perry and Matt Lloyd and head coach Jacque Vaughn acquire young talent and develop it. That group greatly advanced the Magic rebuild last year by acquiring key pieces Nikola Vucevic, Tobias Harris, Maurice Harkless and Arron Afflalo in trades. Then, they hit another home run last June when they drafted Victor Oladipo – the landslide favorite to win the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award this season.

Now, it’s just a matter of growing all of the young talent and keeping the franchise on the right course throughout the season ahead. Vaughn, the Magic’s mild-mannered, but firm head coach, is just the right man for the job because of his ability to focus both on the here and now and the long-term goals of the organization.

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