The Orlando Magic, linked for weeks to Cavs general manager David Griffin for their vacant president of basketball operations position, have made a decision to go in a different direction and have reportedly agreed to hire Toronto general manager Jeff Weltman, per The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski. Weltman was named the general manager after Masai Ujiri was promoted to team president ahead of last season. "The Magic are a first-class organization all the way around and we look forward to this tremendous opportunity".
Matt Lloyd, who was the team's interim general manager following the firing of Rob Hennigan in April, is expected to remain with the organization and will be a candidate for the GM job permanently, according to the team's release. Hammond was with the Bucks GM since 2008.
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"John brings tremendous experience and is a great talent evaluator", Weltman said in a statement. "He has experience in everything from day-to-day operations to player development". Hammond was a key executive under Joe Dumars with the Detroit Pistons for their run of six straight Eastern Conference finals, which included two NBA Finals appearances and the 2004 NBA championship.
The two seasoned National Basketball Association front-office executives inherit a team that went 29-53 last season and has the No. 6 pick in the National Basketball Association draft.
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The Magic hope for a similar revival under Weltman after missing the playoffs with losing records the past five seasons, the longest playoff drought in the team's 28-year history.
Weltman, who has also worked in the front offices of Milwaukee and Denver, comes to the Magic with no experience as head of basketball operations. The pair has a successful track record in the National Basketball Association.
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