JD: These days there are several teams in the NBA going through the rebuilding process, but they seem devoid of pieces to build around and there isn’t much hope. In Orlando, the fact that you have a core four of players, a rising star in GM Rob Hennigan and a solid coach in place in Jacque Vaughn. How good does it feel to have your foundation for the future already in place?

MARTINS: ``I couldn’t be more proud the way our basketball operations staff has performed, particularly with Rob’s leadership. Putting the right pieces in place and getting the right kind of players in is so important. Getting players who have an incredibly high work ethic, a team focus and are humble and hungry – those are all traits of any of our core players. The fact that we’re building that way bodes very well for the future. We definitely have a strong core in place and I’m eagerly awaiting to see how they all come into place this year and how much progress they have made.

``They’ve put the work in over the summer, there’s no doubt about that. The summer time is when you can really make a significant leap forward. Those incremental improvements come during the summer. I looked down on the court every single day of the summer and I could see our players out there working. They were there virtually every day this summer. And physically I can see a lot of difference in our guys too. It’s going to be fun to see how it all comes together.

``So we can see how that core of the team comes together. Now it is going to be about putting the right pieces along with that core over the next year to get us back in contention mode.’’



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