*Lasry and Edens peek head into conference room*
"Larry? John? Is John in here? Oh, hey John. Um just wanted to thank you guys again for a great draft, couldn't be happier. Yeah, no, we're really excited too. Also, we're totally not interviewing another team's head coach with the possible intention of offering him a position as President of Basketball Operations and possibly Head Coach. Also he is totally not a former NBA superstar. So, um, anyway, we'll talk soon."
It probably didn't actually go down like that. Apparently Larry Drew and John Hammond were completely unaware of any potential interest in Kidd on the part of the Bucks. Well, there is interest.
ESPN sources say Bucks and Nets have already begun discussing potential compensation to free Kidd from last three years of Brooklyn contract— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 29, 2014
Things have escalated, and they have escalated fast. As such, the immediate futures of Drew and Hammond now look to be in serious jeopardy. Kidd is reportedly interested in a role as President of Basketball Operations rather than a coaching position, but any such appointment is almost certain to have ripples in lower levels of the organization. "Ripples" in this case meaning "rogue waves."
While many expected significant staff turnover in the wake of Herb Kohl's departure, things have been relatively unchanged. A few higher-ups have been let go, but most of the front-facing officials seemed safe. To that point, it seemed fair to assume Hammond's extant status through the draft portended his survival through the summer and into next season. After all, why allow the guy to make sure a critical decision, with such far-reaching consequences, if he wasn't even going to be around to carry out Phase II of The Plan?
But the Bucks were in a somewhat unique position. While the amount of prep work that goes into an NBA Draft should never be underestimated, Milwaukee could reasonably be said to have had the easiest decision of any team in draft. Luck may have had a role in things working out exactly as the Bucks had hoped they would, but their options were never particularly numerous, and info after-the-fact even suggested that the uncertainty had been overblown. In other words, Hammond's decision, while important, didn't really require that much brilliance or foresight, and it looks compatible with any number of paths forward.
This isn't to say Hammond has to be kicked to the curb, even if it sure seems likely should this whole Kidd...situation come to pass. A President of Basketball Operations still has a GM beneath him or her, even if the ultimate decision-making responsibility rests with the former. But it would certainly look a lot like a vote of no-or-limited-confidence on behalf of the Bucks' new owners, and it feels pretty unlikely that, given the sort of power such a title would bestow on Kidd, he'd leave things alone on the rungs below him.
Larry Drew's place on the Bucks, while affected less directly if Kidd is truly uninterested in a new head coaching position, somehow seems even less secure. Hammond may have a longer track record of underperformance with the Bucks, but Drew's one year in town went about as poorly as it possibly could have. A roster that made the playoffs (however unconvincingly) a season ago and was seemed, on paper at least, to have been upgraded over the summer suddenly imploded into a fiery train wreck of awfulness, sticking out as the most magnificently bad among a conference that went the way of a waterlogged hillside. In reality, Drew may not have had a ton to work with, but he did so little with what he had that it came as a bit of a surprise he wasn't, at the very least, harshly evaluated by the new ownership. Maybe we were too hasty in calling off the search for rumors of discontent.
This remains an exceptionally fluid situation, like in the way liquid nitrogen is exceptionally fluid when stored in a screw-top water bottle. Something is going to go boom very soon, and there will be a lot of pieces to sort through.