As has become abundantly clear over the past three weeks, the Milwaukee Bucks’ quest to hire a general manager (following the departure of John Hammond) is a riddle wrapped in a mystery wrapped in a cheese quesadilla made out of the maze your kid gets on his placemat at restaurants. The latest turn, per ESPN’s Marc Stein:
The Milwaukee Bucks have interviewed their own director of basketball operations, Jon Horst, for their vacant GM post, league sources say.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 16, 2017
League sources say Jon Horst has emerged as an increasingly serious Bucks GM candidate after working under former Bucks GM John Hammond— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 16, 2017
Jon Horst has been the Milwaukee Bucks’ director of basketball operations for nine years. He was hired by John Hammond in May of 2008, along with Marc Boff (former Head Athletic Trainer) and Dave Dean (current Director of Basketball Administration). Previously, Horst had worked with Hammond and former Bucks executive Jeff Weltman in Detroit, where he started as a “basketball assistant” in 2005.
Those sentences could have been shown to me yesterday, and I would have no idea if they were real or made-up. I had to get his professional history from a RealGM post outlining the Bucks’ staff directory and Horst’s personal LinkedIN profile.
Bucks assistant GM Justin Zanik and Denver's Arturas Karnisovas were finalists for the Bucks' GM post until the Nuggets promoted Karnisovas— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 16, 2017
Now Jon Horst -- who John Hammond wanted to bring to Orlando -- is contending for GM alongside Zanik, who is heading Milwaukee's draft prep— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 16, 2017
Additional research shows that back in 2008, Horst was mentioned in an interview our very own Frank Madden (miss you, Frank!) conducted with then-general manager John Hammond. From that interview:
After Weltman took the assistant GM position, Hammond hired another member of the Pistons staff in Jon Horst, who took over as director of basketball operations. Along with Dave Dean, who was promoted internally from a scouting position, Horst provides Hammond support in all phases of decision-making. Not surprisingly, their offices at the Cousins Center are right across the hall from Hammond's. And even late on the Friday afternoon after the draft, Dean and Horst were there, waiting to meet with Hammond to go over the next phase of the Bucks' offseason plans.
"You need young guys like that--the jack of all trades. Someone that has the mindset that no job is too big, but more importantly no job is too small. They're basketball guys, but also kind of like project managers. When we're preparing for things, whether it's the draft or free agent issues, those guys always jump on projects like that."
- I will admit, here on this site, that I have no recollection of ever hearing Jon Horst’s name.
- After doing some perfunctory research, I have no opinion on Horst’s readiness for the GM role. He seems to have the trust of John Hammond (who I respect), and somebody in the ownership group likes him.
- Jon Horst might be a really good GM. We have no idea.
- Jon Horst might be a really bad GM. We have no idea!
- Somebody in the ownership group does not like the idea of Justin Zanik becoming the next general manager.
- The 2017 NBA Draft is 7 days away.
We will continue to monitor this story as it develops. Until then, see if you can do better than Frank or Dan Shafer of the MKE Business Journal with his continuation of my restaurant analogy from this morning:
Jon Horst is the "I guess I'll just make something at home" option— Dan Shafer (@danshaferMKE) June 16, 2017