Once again, the Milwaukee Bucks would like the world to know: they have no plans to make coach Jason Kidd their GM, nor to take that title away from current GM John Hammond.
That was the message from the Bucks on Sunday night, shortly after an OnMilwaukee.com story from Dave Begel claimed that Kidd would replace Hammond as soon as July 10. Kidd has of course been rumored to be after personnel power since before even arriving in Milwaukee just over a year ago, but the organization has held fast that they neither had nor have any intention of replacing Hammond or his staff. Here's the official response from team spokesman Jake Suski and VP Alex Lasry.
Statement from Bucks team spokesman Jake Suski regarding Kidd/Hammond report by OnMilwaukee pic.twitter.com/AZyP3DEB8b— Eric Buenning (@ericbuenning) July 6, 2015
For those asking... Marc, Wes and Jamie are very happy with John as GM and Jason as coach. It's gonna be a great year!— Alexander Lasry (@AlexanderLasry) July 6, 2015
Begel's suggestion that Kidd overruled Hammond for the Bucks' decision to draft Rashad Vaughn over Bobby Portis also drew an incredulous response from Bucks' brass. In the grand scheme of things you'd expect Kidd to have a major say in personnel decisions, but for what it's worth I hadn't previously heard any suggestion that Kidd had been the one to champion Vaughn's case around the draft. Moreover, the rationale Begel provides -- that Kidd didn't want Portis to "take focus away" from Jabari Parker -- doesn't really make much sense. Portis is considered a nice but limited ceiling combo big man, while Parker is a combo forward long touted as a franchise cornerstone. He would have been assured a starting spot regardless of whom the Bucks selected on draft night, though if a talent comparable to Parker had been on the board at #17 (reminder: there wasn't) it would have been silly to pass on him.
As for Hammond, he has only one year remaining on the contract extension he signed in 2013 under previous owner Herb Kohl, meaning a decision will have to be made on his future at some point . So it's not to say Hammond wouldn't depart if he gets a better offer elsewhere, but the Bucks don't seem intent on forcing him out anytime soon. More importantly, after their statements on Sunday night they would look rather bad if they changed their minds.