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Magic fire GM Rob Hennigan after team misses postseason for 5th straight year

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Magic have fired general manager Rob Hennigan, saying Thursday it was time to go in a different direction after missing the postseason for five straight seasons.

“We appreciate Rob’s efforts to rebuild the team, but feel we have not made any discernible improvement over the last few years specifically,” Magic CEO Alex Martins said Thursday in a statement. “It’s time for different leadership in basketball operations. We certainly wish Rob and his family well.”

Magic assistant general manager Matt Lloyd was named the interim GM while the team searches for Hennigan’s replacement. Orlando also fired assistant GM Scott Perry on Thursday.

“Matt brings solid experience and his appointment as general manager on an interim basis will allow us to seamlessly continue our preparations for the upcoming draft,” Martins said.

At 30, Hennigan was the youngest general manager in the NBA when he was hired by the Magic in June 2012. But the Magic never won enough under Hennigan’s direction, missing the postseason all five years of his tenure and posting a 132-278 (.322) record — the second-worst in the NBA over the five seasons. The Magic finished this season 29-53 after entering the year with expectations of breaking through to the postseason under first-year coach Frank Vogel.

Hennigan has made several moves that didn’t pan out. The most recent was trading Victor Oladipo to Oklahoma City for veteran power forward Serge Ibaka last June. Hennigan also signed center Bismack Biyombo during free agency, as the team looked to go big in its front-court during a small-ball era.

The plan to playing two big post players at the same time never was effective and Ibaka’s time in Orlando was short-lived as the season quickly began falling apart . He was under contract for only this season, and once it became clear he not likely re-sign with the Magic, he was traded in February to Toronto for Terrence Ross.

Hennigan’s job was tough from the outset with perennial All-Star Dwight Howard demanding a trade prior to Hennigan’s hiring. The team has not been to the postseason since Howard’s departure as the roster has been primarily filled with young and unproven talent.

Orlando has not developed the young players it has drafted under Hennigan, and has failed to lure big-name free agents during his tenure.

The Magic has also a constant revolving coaching door under Hennigan, who has hire three coaches in his five years. Hennigan hired unproven Jacque Vaughn in 2012 and brought in 2015 Scott Skiles in 2015. Skiles lasted just a season before resigning and Hennigan hired defensive-minded Frank Vogel last offseason.

The team believes in Vogel after his successful run in Indianapolis, but with the way the current roster is set the next GM will face a challenge to turn things around.

The Magic have not set the criteria they want in the next general manager, or a timeline to hire someone.

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