According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski, Bucks ownership is nearing the conclusion of their GM search (stop me if you've heard that one before) by zeroing in on hiring current Director of Basketball Operations Jon Horst to the GM position. This comes on the heels of Marc Stein’s report yesterday that Horst was being interviewed for the job.
Sources: After contentious ownership disagreement over search, Bucks closing in on hiring Dir. of Basketball Operations Jon Horst as GM.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 16, 2017
Wojnarowski expounded upon the “contentious search” portion of that in subsequent tweets, illustrating the split between Bucks ownership over who is the proper person for the job.
Assistant GM Justin Zanik had support of owner Marc Lasry, another top minority owner, Jason Kidd but full consensus was needed to hire him. https://t.co/FKPouwDpIy— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 16, 2017
As Frank mentioned on today’s Locked on Bucks, there's been smoke over the idea that Wes Edens was the holdout among Bucks ownership in regards to hiring Zanik. Woj’s tweet all but confirms that fact, although it's rather surprising that a majority of the stakeholders could so quickly abandon the man they have confidence in to reach a consensus decision on an entirely new candidate in Horst. The other throw-in there is that Kidd fully supported Zanik getting the job, which doesn’t necessarily reflect that Kidd has any strong influence within the decision making process, but it does illustrate this probably was not a situation whereby a GM could've come in and sacked the Bucks coach. Lastly, Woj also mentioned that they're looking for a veteran executive to pair with the still green Horst.
Sources: Over past couple of days, ownership has been searching for a veteran NBA executive to pair with Horst in the front office. https://t.co/LJMq2SXuM5— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 16, 2017
Who that will be obviously remains an open question. The sentiment of adding an experienced voice to help Horst through a new position makes sense on paper, but I have to think it has the potential to muddy the decision-making process waters once more. From an optics perspective, they'll espouse that Horst has full autonomy, but depending on the standing and perception of his second in command, it's hard to imagine there won't be speculation over how much that guy is tugging at the strings within the front office.
Regardless, there is an incredible amount of depressing developments to parse out from this entire process, but it would appear we may finally have our conclusion to this bungled affair.
UPDATE: It’s going to be official, per Marc Stein:
The Bucks plan to officially name Jon Horst as their new general manager later today, according to league sources.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 16, 2017
How did we get here? Another Stein tweet:
As covered here yesterday, Jon Horst's candidacy in Milwaukee quickly gained steam once Denver's Arturas Karnisovas withdrew from the search— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 16, 2017
We will continue to monitor this story and post updates as they become available.