With salaries having skyrocketed over the summer, thanks in large measure to an extremely lucrative television contract, multiple sources claim Jabari Parker will be seeking a contract similar to the one he expected to receive prior to his latest injury – a max contract of five years for anywhere between $146 million (25 percent of the salary cap) to $175M (30 percent of the cap). It will be perhaps the biggest assignment new Bucks general manager Jon Horst, who had been the team’s director of basketball operations before his shocking promotion to GM, will ever have deal with in his role. It won’t be for Mark Bartelstein, Parker’s new agent. Bartelstein, who heads up Chicago-based Priority Sports and Entertainment, is a longtime agent and regarded as one of the premier agents in sports.
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Darren Wolfson: The Bucks have hopped in on FA Dante Cunningham, I hear. Milt Newton/Matt Bollero connection. #Twolves still trying and being patient.
The Milwaukee Bucks Basketball Operations department has expanded with the following additions: Milt Newton as Assistant General Manager, David Mincberg as Director of Basketball Strategy, Tony Bollier as Director of Basketball Operations and Ronald Dupree as Scout. The team also named Frank Johnson as Assistant Coach. “Our basketball operations department continues to take shape and I’m very excited about the additions of Milt, David, Tony and Ronald,” said General Manager Jon Horst. “Together they bring a wealth of experience that will serve our organization extremely well. I look forward to working with them as we continue to assemble a championship-caliber organization.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Milt Newton is finalizing a deal to become assistant GM with Milwaukee. He was Minnesota’s GM under Flip Saunders’ regime.
When the smoke cleared, the survivor was Horst, the Bucks’ director of basketball operations since 2008, when he moved from Detroit as a Hammond and Joe Dumars protégé. “Jon’s extremely bright, a high character person who stands for what he believes in, and he has a great knowledge of this business at a young age,” Hammond said last week. “You think about how young Jon is, but he’s never done anything else in this workaday world except the NBA. He’s very deserving of the opportunity and I expect him to do extremely well.”
Jon Horst: I never had a schedule in mind. But since I started working in the NBA, I had a dream of ending up on top of a basketball operations and had a goal to run a franchise. My approach has always been to be the best at what you do, in your current role. Excel at it, embrace it, and then when other opportunities present themselves, people will look to you. I’ve done that every step of the way, and I’ve gotten opportunities to advance. Although I’m 34 years old, this is my 13th season working with an NBA team, from starting as an intern all the way to being general manager of a franchise. So, I do have quite a bit of experience in the league.
NBA.com: With all due respect, people will be watching to see if you have the heft to say “no” to Jason Kidd or to the owners who are signing your paycheck. How you address those concerns? JH: Obviously, ownership is ownership. Jason Kidd is our coach. They’re going to be involved in everything we do. But in taking this job, we talked about these things. Ultimately, I’ve been hired to run the basketball operations for the Milwaukee Bucks, to have the final say and to make the final decisions. I’m going to operate as such, and I have their support in doing that. The only way you can really set aside those concerns is by living it every day and watching the transactions unfold.
Ian Begley: Knicks’ Mark Hughes also interviewed with Milwaukee for the assistant GM job earlier this month. He’s well-respected around the league.
New York Knicks Director of Pro Player Personnel Mark Hughes has interviewed for the Milwaukee Bucks’ assistant general manager opening, per league sources. Hughes, a veteran executive with the Knicks organization since 2007, also interviewed for the Atlanta Hawks GM position earlier in the offseason. He has been one of the key figures in the Knicks’ recent draft success, which includes Kristaps Porzingis, Willy Hernangomez, the recently re-signed Tim Hardaway Jr., Channing Frye and Danilo Gallinari.
Add Mark Hughes to the list of candidates for the Bucks’ vacant assistant general manager’s position. Hughes has been the director of player personnel for the New York Knicks since 2011.
One person whom the Bucks have shown interest in is Jim Paxson, who was the general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers from 1999-2005. Paxson, 60, is now a consultant for the Chicago Bulls and has been in Las Vegas for the NBA Summer League games. According to sources, he met with Bucks officials about the assistant GM job.
The latter has since been a consultant for some NBA teams and now has emerged as a serious candidate for the Milwaukee Bucks’ vacant assistant general manager’s position. Newton, who had been Washington’s vice president of player personnel before working in Minnesota, met with Bucks officials earlier this week in Las Vegas. Among the Bucks’ contingent was recently-hired general manager Jon Horst and head coach Jason Kidd. Newton is one of several individuals under consideration for the assistant GM job, which became vacant when the Bucks fired Justin Zanik.
Milt Newton, who had been Washington’s vice president of player personnel before working in Minnesota, met with Bucks officials earlier this week in Las Vegas. Among the Bucks’ contingent was recently-hired general manager Jon Horst and head coach Jason Kidd. Newton is one of several individuals under consideration for the assistant GM job, which became vacant when the Bucks fired Justin Zanik.
As reported earlier by WPB, Chicago Bulls consultant Jim Paxson interviewed with the Bucks for the position earlier this week. It has also been learned Glen Grunwald and Gerald Madkins are under consideration for the job.
If there is anyone in the Milwaukee Bucks’ basketball operations who should be dubbed “Mr. Buck,’’ it’s Dave Babcock. Babcock has been with the organization for two decades and has exhibited unfailing loyalty, having passed on several offers from other teams over the years. During his 20-year tenure with the Bucks, Babcock has had several titles, most recently vice president of player personnel. However, sources said Babcock was recently stripped of the title by the Bucks hierarchy and is now a regional scout for the NBA team. He and wife, Dori, are expected to move to Arizona.
Babcock’s reassignment shocked many in the NBA community. “I don’t know why they would do that; that’s a mistake,’’ a veteran Eastern Conference official said. “Dave’s an excellent talent evaluator, one of the best, hard-working, conscientious. He was really good at his job.’’ Added a Western Conference official: “This doesn’t make any sense. Dave’s a very good basketball guy; he knows our league as well as anyone.’’
Jerry Zgoda: Bucks announce they have hired Wolves pro personnel scout Matt Bollero as their scouting director. Good gig and good luck to him!
Jeff Zillgitt: Bucks add to front-office staff, promote Dave Dean to VP basketball ops/GM of G-League Wisconsin Herd. pic.twitter.com/ijLLNtUZ8T
Zanik was shown the door as the Milwaukee Bucks assistant general manager last week, shortly after he had been one of the three finalists for the general manager’s position vacated by John Hammond’s departure to Orlando. Now, NBA sources said Monday night that the Bucks have jettisoned several more officials, including Billy McKinney, the team’s longtime director of scouting, and Chris Gilmartin, the team’s director of pro scouting. McKinney, who is well respected in the league, came to the Bucks from Detroit nine years ago from Detroit with Hammond. Prior to that, McKinney also worked in the front office for Chicago and Minnesota.
Zanik, McKinney and Gilmartin weren’t the only ones fired by the Bucks in recent weeks. Two members of the Bucks public relations department – Mark Rosenberg, the director of communications, and Erika Johnson, public relations coordinator, have been dismissed.
Jon Horst, 34, might have been a surprise pick to replace Hammond among observers outside the organization. But there was a sense of familiarity when the franchise formally introduced Horst as the new general manager on Monday. “There was a process that we went through. It may seem like a surprising outcome. I’ve been asked that question by other people,” co-owner Wes Edens said as Horst smiled next to him. “At the end of it all, it was never really a surprise for us.”
Justin Zanik has left the Bucks after having once been considered the heir-apparent for the GM job when he arrived from the Utah Jazz a year ago. Edens praised Zanik’s contributions, which included overseeing draft prep in the period between general managers.
Gery Woelfel: Word is circulating throughout NBA tonight that asst. GM Justin Zanik’s time with the Bucks is close to being over, if it isn’t already.
Gery Woelfel: The whispers have started that it’s only a matter of time before Justin Zanik bolts Bucks following bungled GM search. #Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks have named Jon Horst as General Manager. Horst, 34, has served as the team’s Director of Basketball Operations since 2008 where he was instrumental in personnel evaluation, salary cap management and contract negotiations.
“Our No. 1 priority is building a championship-caliber organization and we believe Jon is the right person to be our General Manager,” said Bucks owners Wes Edens, Marc Lasry and Jamie Dinan. “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.”
Marc Stein: The Bucks plan to officially name Jon Horst as their new general manager later today, according to league sources.
Gery Woelfel: An NBA official on the Bucks’ muddled GM search: “The (three majority) owners can’t agree on anyone. Somebody should buy one of them out.”
Marc Stein: The Milwaukee Bucks have interviewed their own director of basketball operations, Jon Horst, for their vacant GM post, league sources say.
Marc Stein: League sources say Jon Horst has emerged as an increasingly serious Bucks GM candidate after working under former Bucks GM John Hammond
Marc Stein: Now Jon Horst — who John Hammond wanted to bring to Orlando — is contending for GM alongside Zanik, who is heading Milwaukee’s draft prep
Eric Nehm: Jon Horst has been with the Bucks organization for the last nine years. Originally hired in May ’08 when Hammond became general manager.
Karnisovas had emerged as a finalist for Milwaukee’s GM job, and the extended decision-making process within Bucks ownership played a part in Denver’s aggressiveness to find a solution with Karnisovas’ agent, Spencer Breecker, to hold onto Karnisovas, league sources said. Karnisovas informed Bucks ownership on Wednesday afternoon that he had withdrawn from consideration, sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: In an aggressive move to secure Denver’s front office, Josh Kroenke has preempted Milwaukee’s bid to hire Arturas Karnisovas as GM.
Chris Dempsey: #Nuggets have made two major front office moves. First, Arturas Karnishovas stays and is elevated to GM.
Chris Dempsey: Second, GM Tim Connelly is now #Nuggets President of Basketball Operations.
Adrian Wojnarowski: W/ Karnisovas and Bucks assistant GM Justin Zanik finalists, Milwaukee has yet to extend offer for GM job. Karnisovas withdrew in last hour. twitter.com/wojverticalnba…
Marc Stein: According to the latest indications, Milwaukee could name its new lead voice in the front office as early as this week.
The NBA draft is on June 22. Feigin says the organization is in good shape with assistant GM Justin Zanik overseeing draft preparation.
Gery Woelfel: Told by source Wilcox made strong impression on Bucks brass in interview on Friday and may have become frontrunner for GM spot.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Karnisovas and Wilcox will travel to Milwaukee for additional meetings with organization officials later this week.
According to sources within the Bucks’ organization and outside of it, Jamie Dinan, Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry have their own unique perspective on who should be the next person to oversee the NBA franchise’s basketball operations.
Not only are there differences among the owners. Sources claim Rod Thorn, a longtime NBA executive who is now a consultant for the Bucks and has spearheaded the GM search with Edens, also has a differing viewpoint on whom the next Bucks GM should be. Thorn, according to several NBA officials, is pushing hard for Ed Stefanski, the vice president of player personnel for the Memphis Grizzlies who worked with Thorn in New Jersey and Philadelphia.
But while Stefanski appears to be the frontrunner for the Bucks’ GM position, sources said each of the majority owners are leaning toward other GM candidates and claim Zanik and Denver Nuggets assistant GM Arturas Karnisovas are held in high regard by them.
The Milwaukee Bucks are finalizing a list of general manager candidates to meet with ownership early this week in New York, league sources told The Vertical. Owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens are expected to be part of this round of interviews, league sources said. So far, candidates have talked to a search firm and the initial list of candidates has been pared down, sources said.
Zanik remains a strong internal choice for the GM job, with his candidacy gathering significant support inside and outside the organization.
As assistant general manager Justin Zanik is preparing the franchise for the NBA draft, the Milwaukee Bucks continue to reach out to potential general manager candidates and plan to begin formal interviews on Monday, league sources told The Vertical. The Bucks were granted permission to speak with several more GM candidates late this week, including Portland Trail Blazers assistant GM Bill Branch, Miami Heat assistant GM Adam Simon and Detroit Pistons assistant GM Pat Garrity, league sources told The Vertical. Another candidate whom the Bucks have contacted, league sources said: San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon. Hammon has no front-office experience, but has been a behind-the-bench assistant coach under Gregg Popovich for three seasons.
As assistant general manager Justin Zanik is preparing the franchise for the NBA draft, the Milwaukee Bucks continue to reach out to potential general manager candidates and plan to begin formal interviews on Monday, league sources told The Vertical. The Bucks were granted permission to speak with several more GM candidates late this week, including Portland Trail Blazers assistant GM Bill Branch, Miami Heat assistant GM Adam Simon and Detroit Pistons assistant GM Pat Garrity, league sources told The Vertical.
Another candidate whom the Bucks have contacted, league sources said: San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon. Hammon has no front-office experience, but has been a behind-the-bench assistant coach under Gregg Popovich for three seasons.
Manny Navarro: Can confirm two Woj reports: Willie Reed has told #Heat he will decline option for next season; Adam Simon will interview for #Bucks GM job
Adrian Wojnarowski: Bucks beginning formal interviews on Monday and Tuesday in New York, league sources tell @The Vertical.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Milwaukee has received permission to talk to two more GM candidates: Miami’s Adam Simon and Detroit’s Pat Garrity.
That may yet occur, but it’s highly unlikely it’ll be soon. According to sources, Kidd is not under consideration to become the Bucks’ new general manager or be given the title of president of basketball operations.
Stefanski, in the eyes of several NBA officials who were contacted on Wednesday, is the leading candidate. Stefanski and Bucks consultant Rod Thorn, who is spearheading the Bucks’ part in the search with Edens, are longtime friends. They also held front office posts with the New Jersey Nets and Philadelphia 76ers.
Marc Stein: The Bucks, meanwhile, remain interested in Cavs general manager David Griffin for their front office vacancy, but Cleveland, as seen with both Orlando and Atlanta, are not granting Milwaukee permission to speak with David Griffin during the playoffs.
As assistant general manager Justin Zanik has started to operate the Milwaukee Bucks on a day-to-day basis, the franchise was granted permission to speak to several outside front-office executives in its search for a permanent GM, league sources told The Vertical. As a precursor to possible interviews, Milwaukee made calls on Tuesday to inquire about Indiana vice president of basketball operations Peter Dinwiddie, Denver assistant GM Arturas Karnisovas, Memphis Grizzlies VP of player personnel Ed Stefanski and Atlanta Hawks special adviser to ownership Wes Wilcox, league sources told The Vertical.
Zanik remains a strong internal candidate for the job, league sources told The Vertical. He joined the Bucks in 2016 after three years as assistant GM of the Utah Jazz.
The Milwaukee Bucks have interest in Cavaliers general manager David Griffin, whose current contract expires at season’s end and who is in discussions with Cleveland on continuing there. Multiple sources told cleveland.com that the Bucks, who lost general manager John Hammond to the Orlando Magic this week, have interest in Griffin, 47.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Zanik remains serious contender to elevate permanently from assistant GM and will run Bucks front office until process is complete.
Current Bucks assistant general manager Justin Zanik will interview for the GM post and be given strong consideration to succeed Hammond, sources said. Zanik has been erroneously described in some corners as the Bucks GM-in-waiting, but sources insist he was never promised the position by the Bucks upon joining them from the Utah Jazz and will have to convince team officials he is the best choice to lead the franchise into the future.
The Bucks, sources said, want to take this opportunity to ensure the leadership they select can help the franchise take the next step after a promising season that saw Milwaukee — led by Antetokounmpo and his rise to All-Star status – reach the playoffs despite losing Jabari Parker to a season-ending knee injury.
Marc Stein: The Milwaukee Bucks have decided to open up their newly vacant general manager position to a broad search, ESPN has learned.
Marc Stein: Bucks consultant and longtime NBA executive Rod Thorn will lead the search on behalf of Milwaukee ownership, league sources say.
Marc Stein: Bucks assistant general manager Justin Zanik will have an opportunity to interview for the GM position, according to league sources.
ESPN Cleveland: Windhorst: Griff could be a candidate in other places, including Milwaukee. Not sure Atlanta will wait. Griff wants a substantial offer.
“We are very excited to join Jeff (Weltman) and be a part of the team in Orlando,’’ Hammond said in a statement. “The Magic are a first-class organization all the way around and we look forward to this tremendous opportunity. I want to thank the ownership in Milwaukee, Wes Edens, Marc Lasry and Jamie Dinan, for their support and I certainly wish them well.’’
“John (Hammond) brings tremendous experience and is a great talent evaluator,’’ Weltman said in a statement. “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.’’
Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond has agreed to a five-year contract to join the Orlando Magic’s front office as GM, league sources told The Vertical. Hammond will reunite with new Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman to try to revive the foundering franchise.
Milwaukee had been planning to promote assistant GM Justin Zanik to run the franchise in 2018 and letting Hammond accept a long-term deal with the Magic clears the way for the promotion to come sooner, league sources told The Vertical. Milwaukee hired Zanik a year ago from the Utah Jazz, where he had worked under GM Dennis Lindsey.
Marc Stein: As @Brian Windhorst reported, John Hammond interviewed in Orlando for the president of basketball operations job Toronto’s Jeff Weltman landed
The Magic interviewed several candidates for the job including Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond. The team was interested in hiring Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin for the position. Griffin had discussions about the job but never was able to formally interview because the Cavs did not grant permission and the Magic decided to move on.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Magic have interest in Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond, Toronto Raptors general manager Jeff Weltman and former Minnesota Timberwolves president and Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale.
NBA.com: What was is about Giannis that jumped out to you, that you said, “This is really going to translate”? Are there one or two reasons you really believed in him? John Hammond: Loved his length and also loved his skill set. And we also felt that he had the gift of knowing how to play the game. You could see he was very comfortable in the game. He had a good ability to ball. He was basically playing the point-guard position a lot of times for his team. He was getting the rebound and taking it himself on the break. Or sometimes other players would get the rebound, sometimes the smaller players would throw it to him to handle the ball. He was like the point guard for his team. Someone at that size was handling the basketball and along with that had just a really good feel for the game. We always say that feel for the game is one of those things that is almost impossible to teach. It’s just a gift that the player had, and I think that Giannis had that gift.
NBA.com: What about when you were looking at Thon? What popped? This was a guy had a lot of positives around him, but were there one or two things where you said, “Right there. That’s going to work”? JH: We loved his length. We loved his ability to shoot the ball. With the game moving to where it is today, can he be a stretch big? We’re still hoping that Thon can be that player consistently as he moves forward. But more than anything with Thon was then when we had the chance to get to know him, we just fell in love with him as a person. I loved (director of scouting) Billy McKinney’s line on Thon. When Thon left us after the draft workout, Billy said, “You can be guaranteed that player is going to become the very best he can possibly become because he’s going to work that hard.” He’s never going to leave anything on the table. He’s always going to give you 100 percent and give himself 100 percent and give himself the best opportunity to become a player someday in this league.
NBA.com: That’s right. In January 1973, a house that Abdul-Jabbar owned in D.C. was targeted in a home invasion. [Terrorists murdered several people in an attack on the player’s spiritual teacher Hamaas Abdul Khaalis, a rival of Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad. Abdul-Jabbar was not present at the time.] WE: That took Washington out, so it got down to the Lakers or the Knicks. We did everything we could do to talk him out of wanting to be traded. But he said, “Nope. If you don’t, I’ll become a free agent or I’ll sign with the ABA.” Of course we didn’t want that to happen. So we decided to keep it quiet. “Let’s not go public until we have a deal.”
The Milwaukee Bucks today announced Craig Robinson as the organization’s new Vice President of Player and Organizational Development. Robinson brings a wealth of experience in business and basketball to the Bucks staff, where he will serve as a mentor and advisor to the Bucks roster – the youngest in the NBA. “Player development is instrumental to the success of our players on the court and their valuable impact in the community,” said Bucks co-owner Wes Edens. “We strive to equip every member of our organization with the tools they need to find personal success beyond basketball. As we continue to build a world-class franchise, we’re thrilled to have someone with Craig’s experience and character join our team and help our players reach their full potential on and off the court.”
Robinson will oversee the development and implementation of programs that support the professional and personal growth of players through education, mentorship, business and community efforts that align with the mission and goals of the Bucks organization. “It’s so important to surround our young players with talented and experienced people that can help mentor and guide them through the different stages of their careers,” said General Manager John Hammond. “Craig has an impressive set of qualifications that we feel will be beneficial to our players and our entire organization. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome him to the Bucks family.”
Jeff Zillgitt: At one point, Robinson expressed an interest in the NBPA executive director job, I was told.
Craig Robinson and his wife, Kelly, were married in 2006. He is the father of four children: sons Austin, Aaron and Avery, and daughter Leslie. Robinson is also the older brother of First Lady Michelle Obama.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources on @The Vertical: Milwaukee has extended the contract of GM John Hammond one year thru the 2017-’18 season.
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October 18, 2017 | 2:31 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: Sources: Cleveland and former Virginia guard London Perrantes are finalizing a two-way NBA contract. Perrantes was a Spurs’ cut out of camp.
The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Vander Blue to a two-way contract, it was announced today by General Manager Rob Pelinka. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released. Blue played five games for the Lakers in the preseason and was a fixture on the team’s championship entry in the Las Vegas Summer League.
Ian Begley: Jeff Hornacek says one of the Knicks’ goals this season is to see steady improvement over 82 games: “What we stressed to these guys is that we’re going to continue to work every day no matter what happens. We’re going to try to improve. We’re going to have ups and downs but in the long run if we stay together, continue to work and we try to fix those things — they may not be incremental jumps but if you have little jumps throughout all 82 games you’re going to be a much better team at the end of the year than you are now. So that’s really the goal.”