UPDATE: The Mike Heller Show podcast is now available online and the Stein quotes have been expanded to reflect his full comments below.
No one knows exactly what incoming Bucks owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens intend to do with the league's worst basketball team, but ESPN's Marc Stein suggests that retaining GM John Hammond and coach Larry Drew could still be in the cards.
Appearing on The Big 920's Mike Heller Show with Heller and Ted Davis on Friday afternoon, Stein didn't claim to have all the answers on how Lasry and Edens will approach their first summer in charge, but he did offer his best guess on the most pressing question facing the organization ahead of the all-important 2014 draft:
"Well it's obviously early in the game, we're just getting to know these guys, although Marc Lasry is a fairly well known person in NBA circles. Not personally by me, but I know a fair few people around the league know him.
"The early sense I get, and again I want to stress this is early and by no means binding, but the early sense I get is that I think John Hammond and Larry Drew will have a chance to stay in place and kind of show what they've got. I don't foresee changes between now and the draft, but I think if the coaching carousel that we've seen so far has taught us anything, what might seem like the most reliable rumbles or whispers don't always play out...
"I think we have to find out more about the new owners, but at this point the early word going around is don't be surprised if Larry Drew and John Hammond have a chance to stick around and make their case basically."
Stein also reiterated his previous report that the Mavericks would be interested in acquiring Larry Sanders this summer should the Bucks make him available.
Aside from all the important disclaimers Stein noted, there's also the small matter of what "a chance to stick around and make their case" means in the first place. Does it mean they'll get a chance to effectively interview for their existing positions? Or they'll get some unspecified period (one month? a year?) to prove their worth? It's a question that's wide open for interpretation, but at a minimum it would suggest that Lasry and Edens won't be in a rush to clean house the instant they officially take over the team.
That may be surprising to Bucks fans looking for a clean break with the Herb Kohl era, but it makes a bit more sense when you consider that the new owners haven't even been able to communicate with the team's current staff during the approval process:
A source with knowledge of the sale process said Edens and Lasry cannot have contact with the franchise's employees or make any personnel changes until the transaction is formally signed.
Asked when that would occur, the source said likely in a matter of days.
The same source said Edens and Lasry are expected to attend Tuesday's draft lottery at Times Square in New York.
In short, it appears that everyone--including members of the front office and coaching staff--will have to sit tight for at least a few more days.