John Hammond Stays In Milwaukee Yet Questions Remain
Orlando Magic went through an exhaustive search for a president of basketball operations. Cleveland Cavaliers main architect David Griffin was thought to be in the running and same for Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond. Orlando ended up going with general manager of Toronto Raptors, Jeff Weltman, who formerly worked with Bucks. This is all in all a good hire for Orlando as they try to become a basketball team again. But for Milwaukee, it leads to again for the third or fourth consecutive summer, ‘Who’s on first’ when it comes to the front office roles.
Hammond had a victory lap-type year. He brought in the right free agents like Jason Terry and traded for Michael Beasley. Additionally, Hammond drafted Thon Maker and saw the development of Giannis Antetokounmpo grow leaps leading to another feather in his cap. Bucks general manager built some equity with fans who probably wanted his job after the disaster of the 2015-2016 season. Yet it’s a weird time to be Hammond because there’s a guy sitting in an office near you ready to take your job named Justin Zanik, a early 40’s bright mind ready for his moment. Further, Jason Kidd said multiple times about his desire to be in a front office. Bucks haven’t put together a contingency plan, and I don’t expect them to.
For as open Milwaukee is on social media, they act like they’re electing the new pope inside their front office. No one knows what’s the organizational structure at this point, and who really calls the shot when major decisions are needed to be made. While this shouldn’t be public knowledge, Bucks should at least set guidance around who is really leading Milwaukee’s surge to being one of the best teams in East.
My guess is this will not be the first time we hear about Hammond taking another job elsewhere. It felt a bit like a warning shot to Milwaukee, and Bucks didn’t really seem to care.