The rising expectation in league circles is that Bucks GM John Hammond will join longtime colleague Jeff Weltman in Orlando as new Magic GM— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) May 23, 2017
Sources: Milwaukee GM John Hammond has agreed to a five-year deal to become Orlando's GM. Hammond will work under president Jeff Weltman.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) May 23, 2017
Many Bucks fans may have thought that Hammond was content to stay put after hearing that the Magic got their man when they hired Jeff Weltman as their President of Basketball Operations. However, the plan was that Weltman would be hiring a GM, and it didn’t take long for him to reach out and bring aboard to his long-time colleague .
As @WindhorstESPN reported, John Hammond interviewed in Orlando for the president of basketball operations job Toronto's Jeff Weltman landed— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) May 23, 2017
As for the Bucks? The built-in succession plan appears to be a go:
If Hammond joins Weltman in Orlando, as many league insiders expect, that positions Justin Zanik to move into the GM role with the Bucks.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) May 23, 2017
Zanik was brought in last year to both fill the void left by David Morway’s departure, and to eventually succeed Hammond, whose contract was up at the end of the 2017-2018 season. With said contract set to expire, it was possible that Hammond would be allowed the opportunity to look to continue working elsewhere instead of taking a backseat or a lesser role. Alas, here we are.
Hammond had been the Bucks GM since 2008 and the Bucks made the playoffs four times since he took over the team. Hammond won the 2009-2010 Executive of the Year award during the “Fear the Deer” season.
For some extended discussion, be sure to listen to Frank and Eric’s pre-official announcement conversation on today’s Locked On Bucks: