GM Watch: Griffin interviews, Hammond denied

Gery Woelfel writes that the Bucks interviewed Suns VP of Basketball Operations David Griffin yesterday, the irony being that hours before Woelfel wrote his story, RealGM poster L Gator had already reported seeing Herb Kohl at lunch with Griffin:

I just had lunch at Elsa's and sat right behind Herb Kohl. It was him and four other people. He was either interviewing someone from the Suns or just picking his brain. There was a lot of talk about Jason Kidd, the west and big time players leaving their teams, like Chris Paul. There was also talk about Jerry Colangelo and some owners business but I could not hear too well.

Ah yes, the beauty of the internet. While L Gator didn't recognize Griffin at the time, I posted a picture of Griffin in that thread, assuming it must have been him since a) they were talking about the Suns and b) Woelfel had mentioned Griffin as a candidate last week.  Sure enough, it was Griffin, and kudos to Woelfel for posting confirmation later that afternoon.

It's difficult to speculate what kind of GM Griffin would be given he's never run an organization before, but working under the Colangelos is certainly a good start for anyone hoping to become a savvy front-office type. Griffin, who turned down the Grizzlies' GM job last year, is also somewhat unique in that he started as a media relations guy before moving into basketball operations. If Griffin did take the plunge in Milwaukee, he would hopefully bring along some of the Suns' drafting wisdom. The Suns' drafts over the last decade are littered with big names, though some of their wisest selections never even suited up for the Suns (Luol Deng in 2004, Stephen Jackson in 1997). Either way, the draft has been crucial to the Suns' success, as both Amare Stoudemire (2002) and Shawn Marion (1999) were taken ninth in their respective draft classes. Check out Griffin's bio or read his highly entertaining blog about his European scouting trip in 2006. If his abilities as GM are in anyway correlated with the quality of his writing, then "Griff" is my guy.

While the Bucks have already spoken to Griffin and Rick Sund, Tom Enlund reports that the Detroit Pistons are not allowing the Bucks permission to speak to John Hammond, their VP of Basketball Operations. Like Griffin, Hammond has yet to run a team, but he's built a strong reputation as the number two man for one of the league's best franchises. And while the Pistons won't allow Hammond to speak to the Bucks for now, Enlund notes that isn't necessarily the end of it:

This does not necessarily rule out Hammond as a candidate if the Bucks remain interested as sometimes in situations like this a team – Detroit in this case - will re-consider its position and grant permission if their executive continues to express an interest in talking to the other team about the job opening.

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