Ed Stefanski Rumors
Chris Vernon: “Ed Stefanski, who’s a friend of mine who works in the Grizzlies front office, he—many people would know, it was reported, and I’m not speaking out of school here—interviewed for that job [Bucks general manager] in the offseason. And I recall at one point having a conversation where he told me he was in a big building in—I can’t remember what city it was—and he was talking to the powers that be [in Milwaukee]. And he is big buddies with Jason Kidd, back from the New Jersey days. Like, they golf together. And I remember [Stefanski] telling me that he told [Bucks management], ‘If you think I can control J-Kidd, I have as good of a chance of walking out this door and moving that building with my hands.’ That’s the type of guy Jason is.”
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.
Among those expected to formally interview for the opening, league sources told The Vertical, include: Bucks assistant GM Justin Zanik, Minnesota assistant GM Noah Croom, Indiana vice president of basketball operations Peter Dinwiddie, Detroit assistant GM Pat Garrity, Denver assistant GM Arturas Karnisovas and Memphis VP of player personnel Ed Stefanski.
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.
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.
Memphis Grizzlies Controlling Owner Robert Pera announced today that General Manager Chris Wallace, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations John Hollinger and Executive Vice President of Player Personnel Ed Stefanski have been signed to multi-year extensions with the organization. Per team policy, terms of the extensions will not be disclosed. “I am pleased to announce that our Basketball Operations executive team, led by General Manager, Chris Wallace, will continue to lead our franchise for years to come,” Pera said. “Chris, John and Ed bring a wealth of NBA experience and success, and have done a tremendous job establishing the strong culture that I believe is necessary to ensure sustained success in this ultra-competitive environment. More importantly, I am confident that the toughness, resilience, discipline and unselfishness that are embedded in the fabric of our culture will continue to serve as a point of pride for Memphis, the surrounding region and all Grizzlies fans.”
Korn Ferry has already started to identify possible general manager candidates to pair with a new president and coach in Minnesota, including San Antonio Spurs assistant GM Scott Layden and Memphis Grizzlies executive VP of player personnel Ed Stefanski, league sources said. Layden (Utah and New York) and Stefanski (Philadelphia) each have GM experience in the NBA. Milt Newton is the Timberwolves GM now, and it is unclear how – or if – he would continue in any organizational role if Taylor goes through with the hiring of one of his top two candidates.