OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma City Thunder have hired former Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan, The Transcript has confirmed. Hennigan previously worked for the Thunder from 2008 to 2012, acting as assistant general manager at the end of his term.
Basketball Insiders’ Michael Scotto was first to report the deal.
Hennigan left for Orlando in 2012 and worked there until the Magic let him go at the end of this past season. The Magic never crested 35 victories under his watch. The 35 they won in 2015-16 was the only time they won more than 30.
The Thunder have had an opening in their front office ever since former assistant GM Michael Winger took the general manager job with the L.A. Clippers. They still have assistant GM Troy Weaver around along with other influential voices inside the organization. Hennigan’s official position is unclear at the moment.
Hennigan's history with OKC general manager Sam Presti goes back even further than when he came to the Thunder in 2008. He started with the San Antonio Spurs as an intern in 2004. Presti worked for the Spurs until taking the Thunder job in 2007. The two are also both alums of Emerson College.
• Clarifying Kanter: Thunder wing Andre Roberson insists he is not the teammate who told sixth man Enes Kanter not to bother coming back to OKC if he hung out with former Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant this summer.
"You gotta ask somebody else that. I don’t know where that came from. It wasn’t Dre," Roberson said Wednesday at an event for Thunder Cares. "I don’t know. It wasn’t me. Go searching for the answer."
Kanter, who played pickup in New York with Durant, recently told SNY's Taylor Rooks that an unnamed teammate warned him to stay away from the reigning NBA Finals MVP during the offseason.
“The first game I told them, ‘Make sure I’m on LeBron’s team,’ because I’m not gonna tell who, one of my teammates, a couple weeks before that scrimmage game said, if I see one picture of you and KD — because he knows that KD lives in the same apartment as me — don’t come back to OKC,” he said on Rooks' podcast.
• Readying PG: Oklahoma City fans are gearing up for at least one year of Paul George, whom the Thunder traded for just before the start of free agency. The players are getting amped, too.
"He’s pretty good, man," Thunder forward Josh Huestis said, channeling his inner Larry David. "He’s pretty good."
George is one of the many Thunder players already in Oklahoma City for involuntary workouts. Players didn't scrimmage Wednesday — though they have done so with George during some of the summer workouts they organized in Los Angeles.
Thursday, though, could get a bit more competitive.
"He just stopped by today, had a couple workouts with him...It was pretty cool," Roberson said. "Great guy, real chill dude. I think he’s going to be good fit for us."
Roberson, who finished on the NBA's All-Defensive Second Team last season, is particularly excited about how stingy a unit with himself, George and others can become.
"I’ve seen it playing pickup in LA," he said. "I think we have a lot of potential on the defensive end."