Magic Want To Be The Spurs

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — The NBA is a copy-cat league. When a team has success, other teams look to poach their personnel and copy their methods.

Since winning their first championship 15 years ago, the Spurs have had countless coaches and executives hired by the 29 other teams. The latest hires that spent time in San Antonio are Rob Hennigan and Jacque Vaughn, the new general manager and coach, respectively, of the Orlando Magic.

Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel writes that emulating the Spurs is exactly the Magic’s plan

Again, the details of the Magic’s long-term strategy remain unclear.

The franchise could speed up a rebuilding process by paring payroll and by signing a marquee free agent who would embrace a team-first philosophy.

Because of Florida’s warm weather and lack of a state income tax, the Magic have succeeded in landing free agents before — and they almost succeeded in prying Duncan out of San Antonio as a free agent in 2000.

In the meantime, the Magic will stress player development.

“Development will be a huge component of what we do here,” Vaughn said. “I think San Antonio has done a good job of capitalizing on that part of the market. They’ve taken guys drafted 50th and drafted in the second round and created spots for guys that were on the summer-league team and ended up being integral parts of the team.

“So for us I’m going to be a huge believer in development, and I’ll have guys on the staff that their focus will be development. But we all will touch the players every single day. I’m a huge believer in that.”

If it’s not the Spurs, teams want to emulate the Oklahoma City Thunder model, which, of course, was put together by another guy — Sam Presti — who was hired out of San Antonio years ago. The problem with those plans is that there is only one Tim Duncan. There is only one Kevin Durant. And really, there is only one Gregg Popovich.

Yes, you can strip your roster down in order to bottom out competitively and increase your chances of a No. 1 pick. And you can certainly have high character standards when drafting, trading and signing to improve your locker-room culture.

But you can’t just wait for another Duncan or Durant to come along. You have to make the most of the hand you’re dealt and formulate your own plan. Each of the last five championships have been won by teams (the Celtics, Lakers, Mavs and Heat) that went down different paths than the Spurs or Thunder did.

If you’re looking three or four years ahead, there’s nothing on the current Magic roster worth building around, unless No. 19 pick Andrew Nicholson pans out. Hennigan can look to get prospects and picks in a Dwight Howard trade, but there aren’t any five-star prospects out there to acquire, and any picks they receive won’t be very high if they’re coming from a team that just got the three-time DPOY.

So good luck, Orlando. Really, no matter how well the Magic plan, it’s going to take a lot of luck to get back to The Finals, given the position they’re currently in.


  1. juncast says:

    I’ve been a fan of LA LAKERS since 1991, been a fan for 21 year. I’ve never changed allegiance and we’ll never be. I’m just one of the millions of lakers fans out there. Like me millions of lakers fans will never change loyalty just because the team is no longer contender or being on the downhill. If you’ve heard of lakers fans who switched allegiance to rivals because they got stronger and become contenders, they’re not fans but butterflies out to taste the smell of sweet flowers. This is response to comments that lakers fans are switching to Clippers because LA is on downhill.

  2. juncast says:

    Fans don’t switch loyalty just because the team is losing. If there are fans who do that, they’re not after all, but just butterflies looking for sweet smell honey,

  3. dc says:

    keep on dreaming .

  4. Turk (not Hedo, but of the same nationality) says:

    where’s lbj, he should have proposed howard to the heat for haslem, turiaf and anthony by now. He must have not seen this post yet

  5. caloyski says:

    The magic organization should be able to unravel the secret of the SPURs organization on what they do to have GOOD LOYAL PLAYERS

  6. huggy55 says:

    This article is crazy. The Spurs are an international Olympic team for chrissakes….

  7. blizz says:

    Dwight should just MAN UP i mean why do you pamper him? sure his the the Franchise player that doesn’t mean he is THE MAN. Dwight really want a ring,it just take patience look at MJ GOT HIS RING AT 28.

  8. jarrod whelan says:

    the only best offer the magic will get is the gasol and Bynum for Howard the magic would get a good front court and the line up for lakers would be Nash,Bryant world peace, Jamasion, Howard. Howard would do most of the rebounding like in orland but with a better scoring with bryant and nash but orlando wants to rebuild and aquire draft picks but lakers gave their drafts pick’s to suns so go to Houston but get martin lamb lones patterson and draft picks but houston waved scuola so lakers is only the best deal to replace what some of what howard brings to the court

  9. REX says:

    You all sit there talking trade D12 for this person that person & picks. What none of you seem to understand is teams are not going to trade away good players and a bunch of picks for a player who they can not guarantee will sign an extension.

    Why would any team give away so much to get D12 for 1 year and then see him go into free agency and sign with someone else. You have gained nothing

  10. T-ROB says:

    lets all be honest whether with or without d12 there is 0% that magic go back to finals.the problem starts from basics they seriously need more experienced coach nddd general manager.maybe they both r really good but its true they dont hav experince.i dont kno wat vaghun can bering to magic but rob H. has been wanted more nd more since the begining.he should hav traded d12 by now nd get some free agents that can help.unfortantley magic will not hav good future(that wat it seems

  11. Ceejum says:

    I am a Magic fan, and I have watched Howard hold this team hostage the last three years with his flip-flopping. What I want to know from Dwight is why he wants to leave? The team hasn’t exactly been a complete failure. The Magic have about the best record over the last 5-6 seasons. If you look at the numbers, Dwight is a huge reason for the regular season records, but in the play-offs, he doesn’t take it to another level like other big stars. He is unhappy with the team’s record in the play-offs, but he is the main reason for it. If he could shoot free throws, and acted like a leader instead of a clown, he may have a ring by now.
    For everyone that wants D-12 on their team, be careful what you wish for. He’s a regular season stud and a post season dud. And not much of a leader. More Magic players admit to Jameer as more of a leader then Dwight. They just refer to him as the best player on the team, not the leader.

  12. MGIC CORE says:

    I think everybody agrees that this Howard indecision of stay or go somewhere is taking out if not all but a substancial amount of the Magic energy and all fans patience. Believe it or not i think the Magic are trying to do the best they can
    considering the circunstances.This is not a piece of cake. No general manager, no coach and over that probably
    missed the opportunity to keep the best player.Thats why I blame first the bad deals made by the former GM Otis Smith
    and surprising the lack of professionalism by the coach Stan Van Gundy.Hey Mr. Van gundy( out of the record )next time
    leave the gossip to Hollywood. And ultimately to Dwight Howard should act like a man of principles.
    In the meantime lets relax and be patient, Ithink good things will come to Orlando for now and the near future. Amen

  13. Magic Fan says:

    “But we all will touch the players every single day”
    Anyone else concerend by this comment ???
    plus there trying to get rid of the veterans hmmmm … suspicious lol
    Being serious now we should of taken the Houston trade, they offered the best package for a rebuild which it looks like were planning to do IMO
    Plus i can’t stand waking up to crybaby Howard beingg on the roster any longer !!!!!!!!!

    • elt says:

      true magic shouldve tooken that deal, they still can those rookies houston got are some studs i wouldnt be mad if the trade him 4 them and some picks.

  14. Jayjoe14 says:

    Trade Howard for Duncan hahahahah!

  15. shurik says:

    no team gonna trade for howard with out extending his contract… period. and orlando, wont trade him for bags of potatos… they want star player in return.. or star potential…. plus draft picks… plus and plus and plus.
    if some one will make the trade, they will stay with howard only…. and role players. and most likely with useless hedo, and j-rich.

    hello lotery picks for years to come

  16. Paul says:

    The problem with the MAGIC has always been bad trades. They keep the wrong player and trade the right one (which they get cr@p in return). The owners believed Otis Smith when they shouldn’t have. Now they have a HUGE decision to make w Dwight. He is their franchise player and to lose him will seem like de ja vu. I hope Dwight realizes there’s really no place for him to go. He could man up and prove to the entire NBA that he IS the man and resign with HIS team. If not most teams except for a few can’t afford his asking price even Nets. We all will see.. Would be nice to see him grow up and make a mature choice.

  17. Derrick says:

    I would love for howard to go to the lakers. Kobe and Howard are the two most selfish players in sports. They will never work well together and nash will retire soon. The lakers will never be good until kobe retires, too.

  18. Kelvin says:

    These comments are why none of us here are NBA GM’s. This is NOT NBA2K13

  19. Travis says:

    Congrats to Jacque Vaughn but I don’t know whats going on in Orlando!

  20. Drago says:

    You cant trade Howard for something that is equally as god unless the Lakers give Gasol and Bynam for him but that is probably not on the table.Anyway they need to get rid of him or get him on a max contract and be done with it .If the new gm is any god he would get him to stay and make a championship team.

  21. K_S85 says:

    Keeping D Howard is like trying to keep a failed relationship/marriage going, one side wants the other to stay and the other side wants to leave, break it off clean and find someone else. There are other good players in the league don’t focus too much on this guy

  22. ZIp says:

    You argue that they can’t be the San Antonio Spurs because there is only one Duncan and one Popovich, which of course is true, but you are missing the point. They don’t literally want to copy the Spurs by cloning their personnel, they want to emulate the lasting success the Spurs have had, a HUGE part of which has been team culture and player development.

    I understand the argument that in addition to a team concept the Spurs have some star personnel, but I could also argue that their star personnel have been made all the more great by being surrounded by a team concept. Popovich is one of the best coaches ever, but what would happen if you stuck him with the team that has embodied the antithesis of the team concept, the Knicks? If the Magic build a great team environment and good player development, if they do get a great player, either through the draft, trade, or development, then the ground is already fertile for that player to thrive.

    Getting guys that buy in to the team concept and developing players will make good players great and great players stars. It may be a difficult and long road, but it’s the right road for long-term success in the NBA.

    • Bret says:

      The point about saying there is only one Duncan and only one Popovich wasn’t implying that they need those exact people, but that building a team through the draft and through player development is a lot easier when you can start out by drafting a hall of fame type player and that you need a coach who knows how to develop players and how to get players to buy into the system. You think OKC would be where they are if Portland had drafted Durant and left them with Oden? Doubtful. And with Stern controlling the lottery, there’s no guaranty that having a bad season will net you the next big star to enter the draft – just ask the Bobcats.

  23. Miki says:

    Trade Dwight to OKC for Harden.

    Trade Harden to Washington for Bradley Beal and a future pick.

    Tank the next three years and build from there.

    • dean says:

      That doesn’t sound like a bad deal for either side, but will Dwight want to stay with OKC?

    • David says:

      That is the most even steven deal that makes sense and it scares the heck out of me as a Lakers fan. Heres to hoping it does not happen.

  24. Hoof Hearted says:

    Dwight will more then likely go to L.A. But at this point who cares, just wish the Magic would hurry up and decide what to do with him before the rest of the league gives up on trying to get him. Either way nobody will be beating the Heat for the next few years. Cant stop LeBron or FLASH!!

    • Johnny says:

      Kobe, Nash, Gasol, and Dwight would disagree with you.

      • Hoof Hearted says:

        Its not up to kobe, nash, gasol or dwight though. The magic are gonna do whats best for them not howard

    • Amitpal says:

      Dwight is the key to stopping lebron and flash. Last time I checked lebron and wade shoot jumpsuits like shaw did. Really bad. I think tim Duncan probably made more jump shots then lebron did in the playoffs. Moral of the story who gets Dwight is going to have a Advantage over the heat. And if the lakers get him then heat r in huge trouble. Besides heat probably couldnt beat the lakers this year either. Try won’t match up well.

  25. David says:

    I don’t blame the Magic organization for dragging their feet; they know they have a sure thing in Howard and if it takes an exhaustive process testing the patience of both Howard and other nba clubs who are coming and going back to the table to have this dialogue then let it be. At some point a resolution will come; whether it be Howard wanting to go or change his mind to stay I trust the Magic organization will send where Howard wants to go.

    That being said, I’m a Lakers fan and am tired of waiting but still hoping Howard comes to L.A.

  26. Craig says:

    Wasn’t it 1999 when the Spurs won their 1st Championship? Based on my math skills, that would be 13 years ago, not 15. LOL

  27. Tyrone Lu says:

    I would trade Howard, Hedo to the pacers for Hibbert and Paul George. Then I would send JRich to any team that has a player similar talents and a cheap not like JRich overrated contract. Or use amnesty clause on him and pursue Monta Ellis, or any one that is young with good potential.

  28. Mark C says:

    Trade dwight and rebuild from there!

  29. Julianne says:

    The Magic need a total revamping of roster

  30. If i was orlando i will mostly go to Houston and get K-MART, White, Jones, Sean, Donatas, toney and get 1 first round or two second picks and trade away Hedo Howard Rich and Jameer Nelson

  31. If i was the magic i will trade him to pacers get Roy hibbert Plumlee Paul george 2 first picks and second picks and trade away Howard Hedo 1 second picks

    • If i was the magic i will trade him to pacers get Roy hibbert Plumlee Paul george 2 first picks and 2 second picks Orlando Johnson and trade away Howard Hedo 1 second picks J rich.

      • Tyrone Lu says:

        What about JRich’s overrated contract, would u use amnesty clause on him?

      • DJ3 says:

        Yes! I have been saying this for awhile now! (since last years FA period.) I have always liked Hibbert and I think he and Bynum are the only ones CAPABLE of being as good as Dwight is. If they really are or not, well, we’ll see.

      • TJ says:

        They can’t amnesty anyone. They used their one-off amnesty on Gilbert Arenas last year. That’s it for them, no more amnesties left for them to use.

      • Tyrone Lu J rich Contract is not overrated if you have good or average that can find J rich like geogre hill and DJ Augustin he Will put up 20 points like he did before going to orlando. Orlando plays off howard when he gets doubled team. Phoinex hade true PG Nash which will find J rich.

  32. stefanblagojevic says:

    they should ask OKC about Harden & Ibaka for Dwight

  33. stefanblagojevic says:

    the Magic should call OKC and ask for harden and ibaka for dwight

  34. Just Be says:

    sorry to say but they will never go back to the FINALS, unless they have some kind of MAGIC trick… defeating good eastern teams like Bulls and Heat…GO LAKERS! 16x’s and still counting

    • rob says:

      you are so corny. i bet when the lakers start going further downhill all of la will shift to the clippers. thats what you call BANDWAGON fans.

      • TTKIN says:

        I could not agree more. I am a Laker fan and forever will be, but there are Clipper fans popping up all over the place here in SoCal, it’s frikin disgusting. Pick a team and stick to it. Lakers for 20 years now!

      • LOL says:

        It’s funny how a year ago, all these “Clippers” fans came out of the woodworks and swore up and down the Clippers would finish in a top 1 or 2 seed. That didn’t work so well. Now, they are doing the same thing. We’ll see how things go at the end of the season. Go TEAM USA!

    • T-ROB says:

      lets all be honest whether with or without d12 there is 0% that magic go back to finals,the problem starts from basics they seriously need more experienced head coach nddd Gm.maybe they both r really good but its true they dont hav enough “experience”.i dont kno wat vaghun can bring to magic but rob H.has been wanted more nd more since the begining.he should hav traded d12 by now nd get some free agents that can help.unfortanetly magic wont hav good future(thats wat it seems like no disrepect)

  35. Rabee says:

    if i was orlando i would just get rid of dwight this moment and get a lot of draft picks and money the cap space will open up and maybe orlando can get a monta ellis next offseason and i think orlando should build around andrew nicholson he definetly can play it definetly sounds weird to to have ur 19 th pick as ur franchise player but orlando doesnt really have many options