-- The Orlando Magic have officially named former Toronto Raptors general manager Jeff Weltman their president of basketball operations, the team announced Tuesday.
Weltman interviewed with the team two weeks ago and was selected over the weekend, agreeing to a five-year contract, sources told ESPN.?
"Jeff Weltman brings tremendous experience and a team-first approach to our president of basketball operations position,'' Magic CEO Alex Martins said. "Jeff is a strategic thinker and strong leader, has great relationships in the industry and will bring a collaborative approach to our basketball operations leadership.''
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.
The Magic interviewed several candidates for their president of basketball operations, including Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond. The team was interested in hiring Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin for the position, but even though Griffin had discussions about the job, he never was able to formally interview because the Cavs did not grant permission, and the Magic decided to move on.
The Cavs also denied permission to the Atlanta Hawks for Griffin to interview for their open general manager position, sources said. Griffin, whose contract expires at the end of July, has recently held talks with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert about his future with the team, but nothing had been agreed to as of Monday afternoon, sources said.
The Hawks interviewed Chauncey Billups for their GM job on Monday and have received permission to interview Travis Schlenk of the Golden State Warriors, ESPN has reported. Washington Wizards executive Tommy Sheppard has also interviewed.
Weltman previously worked in the Denver Nuggets' and Bucks' front offices and has a good reputation among his NBA peers.
"Our commitment to winning a championship is stronger than ever," said Magic chairman Dan DeVos. "With the growing demand on basketball operations, a new organizational structure and greater investment was needed. We feel Jeff is a tremendous long-term fit and brings great experience, strong values and a successful track record."
The Magic could have as much as $14 million in salary-cap space and own the No. 6 pick in this year's NBA draft. They have not made the playoffs in the past five seasons.?