Storyline: Bucks Front Office

134 rumors in this storyline

More Rumors in this Storyline

4 days ago via ESPN

They not only hope to one day hang his jersey at the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center — a sparkling new arena that cost more than a half-billion dollars to construct and is set to become the Bucks’ new home starting in 2018-19 — but they’ve made Antetokounmpo the centerpiece of almost every major decision the organization makes, as the Bucks look to make a splash on a worldwide scale. “What we call ‘The Giannis Effect’ really kind of took place 18 months ago, maybe two years ago, where you had this guy who had a skill set that was unlike anything ever,” Feigin said. “Now it’s really kind of grasping it and leveraging it and marketing it [in] a big, strong way, and marketing it to the world, which is different because he’s really attractive to the world.”
4 days ago via ESPN

What makes Antetokounmpo’s situation unique is his status as an international superstar, one who has become the basketball-playing face of his native Greece. That status, Feigin explains, completely flipped the Bucks’ marketing strategy. “We were all about, ‘Hey, we’ve got to really focus on Milwaukee, we’ve got to focus on the state of Wisconsin. We’ve got to focus on the region of the Midwest. Then we’re going to become the national team, and then international,'” he said. “Well, overnight we became one of the top international kind of teams on every metric: on games viewed, on digital views, on video views. So how do you leverage that and take that great awareness and excitement and now funnel it down to the local level?”

The Bucks must explore every avenue to try to upgrade the talent around Antetokounmpo. Despite the all-star starter being in the first year of a four-year contract extension, he is already on the clock in terms of figuring out what his future will look like beyond that. “Right now, I’m just trying to focus on basketball and getting better, and helping my team win,” Antetokounmpo said. “But of course, the front office, whenever they’re about to make a move, [they let me know] so I can feel comfortable. “They know one of my characteristics is being loyal to my teammates, to my coaching staff, they always try to inform me, that’s pretty much it.”

On Monday, the Bucks made a move to shore up their front line, acquiring Tyler Zeller from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Rashad Vaughn and a future second-round pick. “We saw an opportunity to add someone who has, I think, legitimate NBA center size, someone who is a proven NBA player, another floor spacer, a guy who has recently shown that he can shoot the ball from the corner three,” general manager Jon Horst said Tuesday. “Analytically he’s a very good rebounder and efficient scorer around the rim as well. Coach (Joe) Prunty has coached him when he was with Cleveland and John Henson played with him, so we did our due diligence.

The Bucks are probably going to be in the market to fill a need equally as important: a shooter – especially with Mirza Teletovic’s future up in the air. Teletovic is sidelined indefinitely with blood clots in both of his lungs. “They (the Bucks) are a pretty good team,’’ said a veteran NBA advanced scout, who saw the Bucks up close and personal in recent weeks. “They can be really good on defense with their length, and they attack the basket pretty well on offense with Giannis (Antetokounmpo) and they have some good mid-range shooters like (Kris) Middleton and (Tony) Snell. “They just don’t have outside shooters. I see that as their biggest weakness.’’

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.

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.”

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.
9 months ago via ESPN

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

“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.”

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.

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.
More HoopsHype Rumors
April 26, 2018 | 5:44 am EDT Update
No compensation will be needed to hire Budenholzer — once thought of as a potential stumbling block to any potential deal. The Post previously reported an NBA source saying Budenholzer considers the Knicks his “top choice.” “If they offered him the job, he’d say yes,’’ the source told The Post. “He wants to live in New York.’’
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Job
Sources have indicated the Knicks have strong feelings for the defensive-minded Budenholzer, who guided the Hawks to the playoffs in four of his first five seasons. The Knicks are well aware of the good work he did helping Tim Hardaway Jr.’s career when he played in Atlanta. The drawback is they have no prior connection to him, but the plus is he’s part of the Gregg Popovich coaching tree.