What, are you surprised?
According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Bucks and Jason Kidd are finalizing an extension that would keep him around as head coach through the 2020 season. Woj originally reported that the extension would be for three years and $15 million-plus, but ESPN's Marc Stein is now reporting that the deal is done for three years and $18 million. That $6 million a year for Kidd puts him a tick above coaches such as Frank Vogel, Jeff Hornacek, Fred Hoiberg, and Luke Walton, and squares him up with Billy Donovan. It's a good time to be a coach in the league.
Kidd has gone 74-90 in his first two seasons with the Bucks, split into one impressive season and one disappointing season. Heading into a potentially lame duck situation wouldn't have necessarily been problematic, but extending Kidd right now puts those concerns to rest and might have even allowed them to actually save some money? Maybe?
Aside from avoiding the lame duck factor, that would be the financial upside of doing this after down season. https://t.co/cLC2XOZhoa— Frank Madden (@brewhoop) June 13, 2016
It's fair to say that the jury is still out a bit on what Jason Kidd's Bucks can become. Are they the plucky, aggressive playoff team from two seasons ago? Or are they still a flawed team with more questions than answers? It's hard to say from an outside perspective, but those who see this process every day and have the ability to control what direction the franchise heads in are doubling down early on Kidd as head coach. That doesn't feel insignificant, but take that how you will.
Speaking of the head coach title, Woj also dished out this nugget.
"Kidd has had designs on a management role, but appears to have an understanding with ownership that his future with the franchise will be as coach - not general manager. John Hammond is the Bucks GM, and the organization hired Utah Jazz executive Justin Zanik with an assistant GM title - and an understanding that Zanik will eventually replace Hammond as the top basketball executive. There's no timetable set on the transition.."
Some can and will argue that the language here is still a touch weak, but this the most comprehensible explanation of the front office roles we've received to date. Woj has not been shy to report on Kidd's desires to aim higher in the past, so a change in language cannot be dismissed, even if you may not be able to believe it yet.
Perhaps most importantly in all of this is the Bucks now appear to have their house in order heading into an important summer, at least from an organizational standpoint. Roles are being settled into more while beefing up the staff a considerable amount has become a welcome priority. It's all building towards an interesting draft (only 10 days away!) and a summer where cash figures to be flying around at record rates. It's going to be a wild summer.