Bucks confirm Horst will be next GM

MILWAUKEE — He may not have been their first choice, but the Milwaukee Bucks didn’t have to look far to find their next general manager.

The team confirmed on Friday evening that Jon Horst would be the next GM, promoting  the 34-year-old from director of player personnel. Horst has been with the Bucks organization since 2008.

It wasn’t exactly a straightforward hire for Milwaukee, who interviewed six candidates on June 5-6 in New York. That field was cut in half and interviewed in Milwaukee the following week. After it appeared the search had come down to Denver Nuggets executive Arturas Karnisovas and interim Bucks GM Justin Zanik, the Nuggets preempted Milwaukee’s next move by promoting him as their general manager.

After Karnisovas withdrew his name from consideration for the Milwaukee job, the feeling around much of the state was that Milwaukee would promote Zanik. That didn’t happen, mainly because of what was perceived to be some disagreement among the ownership group.

“Our No. 1 priority is building a championship-caliber organization and we believe Jon is the right person to be our general manager,” the Bucks’ ownership group said in a statement. “He has been an integral part of basketball operations for the last nine years, and has helped advise us on every major basketball decision since we purchased the team. Jon is very talented, capable, organized and someone we have leaned on for his strategic thinking and ability to execute our vision.”

Horst will be introduced on Monday with a press conference scheduled for 10 a.m. Reports suggest the Bucks plan to add a veteran executive to work alongside Horst during the transition.

Several big decisions are looming over the Bucks organization within the next few weeks. The NBA Draft begins on Thursday, which also happens to be the deadline for center Greg Monroe to exercise his nearly $18 million player option for a third year on his contract. Guard Tony Snell also becomes a restricted free agent on July 1.

Report: Bucks opening up GM search to external candidates

MILWAUKEE — Despite initially receiving the moniker “GM-in-waiting,” Justin Zanik will have some competition if he wants to become the next general manager of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Zanik was hired away from the Utah Jazz last summer to work alongside John Hammond, who signed a five-year contract to take over as general manager of the Orlando Magic. In an interview with the Wisconsin Sports Zone Network last June, team president Peter Feigin gushed about Zanik as a “terrific hire,” but never committed to Zanik as Hammond’s replacement.

Hammond signed a contract extension two summers ago, taking him through the 2017-18 season. In the June interview, Feigin expected Hammond to eventually be on the same payment schedule as coach Jason Kidd, which would keep him on board through the 2019-2020 season.

“If you ask the owners, the intention would be that we’re making a commitment long-term…to have a plan and get somewhere in these first three to five seasons [under new ownership],” Feigin said. “…So there’s a plan to keep everyone intact.”

ESPN’s report about the Bucks’ GM search includes a detail stating that Milwaukee’s “special consultant,” Rod Thorn, would lead the way in the hiring process. Thorn cut his teeth in the NBA as a former GM of the Bulls and Nets, where he was responsible for trading for Michael Jordan and Jason Kidd, respectively.

Bucks GM John Hammond leaving for Orlando

Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond is moving on after all.

A day after the Orlando Magic tabbed Toronto’s Jeff Weltman as their new president of basketball operations – a job Hammond interviewed for – word came that Weltman wanted Hammond to be his general manager and he’s gotten his wish.

The Magic released a statement early Tuesday afternoon announcing the hiring of the 62-year-old Hammond.

“John brings tremendous experience and is a great talent evaluator,” Weltman said in the release. “He has experience in everything from day-to-day operations to player development. He built a great team in Milwaukee, and won a championship while in Detroit. We are very fortunate to have him as part of the Magic family.”

Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Hammond’s new deal is for five years.

“We are very excited to join Jeff and be a part of the team in Orlando,” Hammond said in the release. “The Magic are a first-class organization all the way around and we look forward to this tremendous opportunity.”

Hammond had led the Bucks since 2008, and his contract ran through the 2017-’18 season. Wojnarowski reported that Hammond made the move with the blessing of Milwaukee’s ownership.

“I want to thank the ownership in Milwaukee — Wes Edens, Marc Lasry and Jamie Dinan — for their support and I certainly wish them well,” Hammond said.

Both Stein and Wojnarowski reported Milwaukee will likely turn to assistant general manager Justin Zanik to take over management of the roster. He was hired in the summer of 2016 after three years in the same position with the Utah Jazz.

Bucks confirm Jabari Parker suffers torn ACL.. again

Milwaukee, WI | Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker has a torn ACL, the team announced Thursday. Parker suffered the same injury to the same knee two years ago during his rookie NBA season.

Parker suffered the left knee injury during the third quarter of last night’s game vs. Miami at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. This morning, Parker underwent an MRI that revealed the torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Parker will undergo surgery to repair the injury and will miss the remainder of the 2016-17 season. The recovery and rehabilitation period is estimated at 12 months.

In 51 games this season, Parker averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and one steal in 33.9 minutes per game. He scored in double figures 47 times, including 20-plus points in 28 games.

 

 

 

The game itself was another embarrassment for the Bucks who fell 106-88. The Heat toyed with Milwaukee, outscoring them 28-15 in the first quarter and sailed the rest of the night. Hassan Whiteside had 23 points and 16 rebounds for a Miami team that has won 12 straight games.

Meanwhile, it was the 10th loss in the last 12 games for Milwaukee, and it resulted in a closed door meeting between Hammond and coach Jason Kidd, who did not address the media afterwards for the first time this season.

“No effort,” Terry said of the performance. “Could not get multiple stops. In this league you have to get stops, and we just did not put in the effort to get that done (Wednesday night).”

The loss dropped Milwaukee to seven games below .500 (22-29) and left them wondering what could go wrong next.

“When it rains it pours,” Henson said. “We got to fight our way out of this hole. It’s going to take a team effort. I think we’ll be fine.”

Milwaukee will host the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, followed by a trip to Indiana on Saturday.

Bucks lose Middleton to torn hamstring

MILWAUKEE — Coming off the high of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s contract extension, the Milwaukee Bucks announced Wednesday afternoon that Khris Middleton would miss about six months due to a torn hamstring suffered in a workout.

Middleton’s injury requires surgery and the Bucks were reportedly making calls to other teams on Wednesday to acquire more guard depth. General manager John Hammond, however, said they’d be fine with the players they already have on the roster.

“We’re obviously disappointed for Khris and our team, but injuries are an unfortunate part of the game,” said Hammond in a press release. “We’ll rely on our overall roster depth to help us while Khris is out for a significant period of the season.”

Middleton made the Bucks a better team last season, shooting 36 percent collectively from beyond the arc when Middleton was on the floor, as compared to 31 percent when he was out of the game.

Milwaukee can recoup some of the loss of contract money owed to Middleton by claiming a disabled player exemption ($5.6 million) but he would not be able to return to game action this season even if he becomes healthy before the season is over. The Bucks would also need to clear a spot on their roster of 15 guaranteed contract if granted the exemption.

Wade to sign with Chicago Bulls

MIAMI — Dwyane Wade’s decision has reportedly been made, as the Associated Press revealed the former Marquette star and Chicago native will commit to sign with his hometown Chicago Bulls. This news came the same day he reportedly met with Milwaukee Bucks management.

According to the AP, Wade will sign a two-year deal with the Bulls for $47 million.

“This was not an easy decision, but I feel I have made the right choice for myself and my family,” Wade wrote in a letter to the Heat, released to The Associated Press.

The three-time NBA champion will be tasked with helping to bring a title back to the Chicago, where the Bulls have yet to reach an NBA Finals since Michael Jordan’s second retirement in 1998.