ORLANDO, Fla. — As we're seeing, Magic GM Rob Hennigan already has had a pretty decent draft — and his team isn't even on the clock until June 27.
Magic fans should be thrilled about what Hennigan, a former assistant GM with the Oklahoma City Thunder, might grab with a lottery pick.
He already has had a soft opening. He essentially has collected three draft picks in a span of three months — and all three of them started in Sunday's slump-buster against Portland.
About two seconds after Hennigan got the job, the Magic acquired the 15th pick of the 2012 class — Maurice Harkless — and the 16th selection of 2011 — Nik Vucevic — in one fell swoop. Moe and Nik were viewed nationally as spare parts of the Dwight Howard trade.
But they were more than throw-ins to Hennigan, who had previously selected Andrew Nicholson at No. 19.
Nicholson learned Sunday that he'll be joining Vucevic in the rookie-sophomore game during NBA All-Star Weekend. ‘Drew was added to replace injured Detroit center Andre Drummond.
Say what you want about this glorified pickup game or what it means for Nicholson and Vucevic. But Nicholson, 23, and Vucevic, 22, along with Harkless, 19, represent the Magic's post-Dwight future and reflect the player-evaluation talents of Hennigan and his scouts — at least coming out of the chute.
Hennigan obviously learned his lessons well at renowned NBA labs San Antonio and Oklahoma City.
You have to give him a thumbs-up. Because if the kids were looking like unmitigated disasters so far — bench-warming busts — fans and media would be bashing young Rob and wondering if he still needed training wheels.
It's way too early to tell if they will turn into stars, although Vucevic has a chance. Hennigan might have found the Magic's center of the future.
When critics chide Hennigan for not getting enough for Howard — talk about mission impossible — the Magic can offer Vucevic as a double-double rebuttal.