Thursday, April 26, 2018
Sports

Magic's draft plans are 'very fluid'

ORLANDO — The Magic's rebuilding effort is in its third offseason with first-time general manager Rob Hennigan leading the way.

Tonight's draft will be the biggest moment of the draft-centric approach he put into place after his arrival that has included a pair of lottery picks for one of the deepest classes in recent memory.

But after missing out on a spot in the top three, Hennigan acknowledged Wednesday that trying to move up or down from the No. 4 and 12 spots is possible.

"Everything's really fluid at the moment," Hennigan said. "I think there's a possibility we could select at (No.) 4 and (No.) 12, and I think there's a possibility that one or both of those picks could be in play. So our job … is to prioritize what we feel is the best opportunity for us, and then go ahead and try to capitalize on that."

Even at No. 4, a month ago the Magic seemed to be in good position to land one of the top-rated players. That was before big man Joel Embiid's recent foot surgery.

Hennigan said the impact "makes an already unpredictable night even more unpredictable."

What it has likely done is move up Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins and Dante Exum on draft boards.

That would complicate things for the Magic.

Once considered a possible No. 1 pick by Cleveland, if teams are scared off by the injury and Embiid is not selected high, the Cavaliers, Bucks or 76ers could take a player the Magic thought would be there at No. 4.

A handful of teams have sought and received Embiid's medical reports from his agent, but Hennigan declined to say if Orlando was one of them.

Whatever happens, it will likely impact at least some of the Magic's few veterans.

Shooting guard Arron Afflalo has been mentioned as a possible trade chip should the Magic try to move up.

Also, if the Magic selects a point guard it could impact Jameer Nelson, who has only a partially-guaranteed contract for next season. Orlando would owe him only $2 million of his $8 million salary if he's waived by July 15.

Hennigan said only that he thinks "everything is connected" as far as the draft and the future of the players on the roster.

Regardless, Hennigan said the overall plan going forward remains the same.

"I think the big thing for us is to just stay the course — continue to add to the team, continue to improve the team, and do it in a fashion that allows us to show improvement, (and) allows us to play in more meaningful games next season," he said. "But at the same time we don't want to skip steps. We don't want to compromise our vision to build a competitive team for a long time.

"If there's an opportunity out there that will allow us to speed that up — great. If not, I think onus is on us to continue to chip away and stay disciplined."

Comments
Is former Florida Gators lineman Taven Bryan a first-round NFL draft pick?

Is former Florida Gators lineman Taven Bryan a first-round NFL draft pick?

Aside from former Florida State safety Derwin James, the most likely first-round pick from a state college is ex-Florida defensive lineman Taven Bryan.He hopes, at least."That would (stink) if I didn't," Bryan said last month at Florida's pro da...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
The Lightning is fun, but does its playoff run translate into dollars for Tampa?

The Lightning is fun, but does its playoff run translate into dollars for Tampa?

TAMPA — As the Tampa Bay Lightning wait for its next playoff opponent to come to town, the city’s business community — large and small — say they’ve already won this NHL postseason.At WestShore Plaza this week, with blue and white banners surrounding...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Iron Nun still going strong at age 88

The Iron Nun still going strong at age 88

TAMPA —These smart phones and computers and internet are big annoyances to Sister Madonna Buder.Every time she turns around, there's a message or a request or a question coming into one of her devices from somewhere in the world."What's all the...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning to face Bruins in East semifinals

Lightning to face Bruins in East semifinals

The Bruins beat the Maple Leafs 7-4 in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series Wednesday night and will face the Lightning in the Eastern Conference semifinals beginning Saturday at Amalie Arena. Here is the semifinal schedule: Saturday: at Tamp...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs draft scenarios: Would this guy be their lucky pick at No. 7?

Bucs draft scenarios: Would this guy be their lucky pick at No. 7?

TAMPA – This is the Rubiks Cube of NFL drafts. It can be twisted and turned it in any direction. Not many know how everything will line up.For the Bucs, the puzzle is simple.  Since they have the No. 7 overall pick, they need four quarterb...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Mock draft consensus: Who the experts have Bucs taking at No. 7

Mock draft consensus: Who the experts have Bucs taking at No. 7

We've linked to a lot of mock drafts over the last four months.We went back and assembled mocks from 40 different NFL writers we've linked to — this isn't the most recent for some of these who are in Mock 9.0 mode, but it's meant as an unscient...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Don’t call it a comeback: Jonny Venters return to majors with Rays much more than that

Don’t call it a comeback: Jonny Venters return to majors with Rays much more than that

BALTIMORE — First, think of what you were doing on Oct. 5, 2012, and how much has happened in your own world since then.That will give you a time frame.Next, think of the challenge of rehabbing from two Tommy John surgeries and a third procedur...
Updated: 6 hours ago

High school scoreboard for April 25

Wednesday’s scoreboardBaseballCanterbury 5, Shorecrest 4SoftballClass 6A, District 6 Semifinal: Springstead 10, Citrus 0
Updated: 7 hours ago

Thursday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBaseballTwins at Yankees1 p.m.MLBRays at Orioles7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMBrewers at Cubs8 p.m.MLBCollege baseballAuburn at Florida7 p.m.ESPNULSU at Mississippi 8 p.m.SECCollege lacrosse, womenACC tournament: Louisville vs. Boston College11 a.m.FSFAC...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Softball: Boca Ciega edges Tarpon Springs for 6A-9 title

Softball: Boca Ciega edges Tarpon Springs for 6A-9 title

DUNEDIN — It's hard to believe that we'll see a more emotional, more exciting game than this one throughout the rest of the postseason.Top seed Tarpon Springs and No. 2 Boca Ciega were fearless with the Class 6A-9 title on the line Wednesd...
Updated: 8 hours ago