Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond agreed to one-year contract extension on Friday, according to Yahoo! Sports. His deal is now set to expire after the 2017-2018 season. Following Hammond's departure, Assistant General Manager Justin Zanik is expected to take over the position.
Hammond's impending exit has been in the works (or, at the very least, the rumor mill) for some time, with various reports suggesting he and the team were formulating a transition plan to turn the team over to new leadership in the near future. In the eyes of many, Hammond's status has been in flux since Jason Kidd was hired as head coach. All parties have continually insisted that Hammond's leadership and authority on personnel matters hasn't waned, but many have speculated that Kidd's involvement with the front office has complicated high-level team operations.
It isn't entirely clear what is motivating the changeover. Hammond, who turns 62 this summer, hasn't openly announced retirement plans, nor has there been anything more than a dull murmur suggesting the Bucks wanted to fire him. Back in April, Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal-Times suggested Hammond may have been eyeing a reunion with former Pistons comrade Joe Dumars down in New Orleans.
Although a planned exit leaves something to be desired in terms of manager self-interest, the plan as currently conceived does give the Bucks a sense of long-term stability. With Zanik already in the fold and anticipating the reins being handed over, he and Hammond can work together over the next two seasons to focus on the organization's long-term outlook. And with a clear succession plan in place, the "intrigue" that has hounded this team in recent years should die down, at least a bit.
Zanik joined the Utah Jazz front office in 2013 after 15 years as an agent with ASM Sports and Priority Sports & Entertainment. Last month he left his Asst. GM position with the Jazz to become the Bucks' GM-in-waiting.
Jason Kidd signed a contract extension though the 2019-2020 season earlier this month.