Orlando Magic fans familiar with Rob Hennigan knew the former Division-III NCAA hooper had a way with spotting talent. He’d helped Sam Presti create the machine that is the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Magic fans hoped his abilities as a scout would help him rebuild the Magic following the departure of franchise player and three-time defensive player of the year Dwight Howard.
Hennigan took a simple approach towards building his team: young talent on rookie contracts, a few vets (which he actively shops), expiring contracts and a thirst to acquire first-round picks.
But it’s not always first-round picks that are the most coveted. Under the new terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, GMs are even less excited about tendering three-year rookie contracts to late first-rounders.
What makes those picks from 31 onwards so valuable is that those guys receive non-guaranteed contracts. They are all fliers. And Hennigan should consider several of them.
The Magic have needs for a starting point guard as Jameer Nelson is put out to pasture, and basically any talent at any other position can be viewed as a positive. From picks 30 to 45, it’s not always about grabbing the next NBA All-Star (though it can be), but sometimes just about nabbing a guy with talent tantamount to that in the mid-first at a fraction of the salary and commitment.