As the NBA moves further into the summer, the stories that fans get fixated upon happen more on hardwood floors than hardwood courts, inside board rooms instead of underneath backboards. For the Milwaukee Bucks, the recent announcement of Jon Horst taking on the role of general manager was one of those stories, especially since the process was so unexpectedly drawn out and concluded with a wholly unknown candidate getting the nod.
A while back, we presented our take on what these changes meant for the Bucks, particularly from the perspective of the ownership trio of Wes Edens, Marc Lasry, and Jamie Dinan. We had our speculations, our assumptions, but eventually left with nothing more than that.
Today, courtesy of ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Brian Windhorst, we have far more knowledge of the inner workings of the Bucks’ process and pitfalls regarding replacing departed GM John Hammond.
Lowe and Windhorst titled their article “Who's running the Milwaukee Bucks? That's a good question,”
On June 19th, we published the following:
As partners, none of Lasry, Dinan, or Edens should work unilaterally, but it doesn’t appear that the three of them exist in a true partnership. It now appears that even in the face of a united front, one member of that group is able to stand against the rest and force things in a different direction. Wes Edens, at least in this case, is able to override a 2-1 vote. That sounds like a special level of authority that doesn’t exist in a partnership.
In today’s ESPN article, Lowe and Windhorst give us confirmation that Wes Edens has such authority:
Edens is the team's designated governor. Every franchise has one such owner. Under league rules, that person has unilateral authority on all basketball-related decisions if he or she chooses to wield it, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The other owners and their attorneys double-checked the team's ownership agreement to make sure they understood Edens' power as governor correctly, sources say. Whether Edens ever played his trump card is unclear. Once the other owners understood the power structure, he might not have needed to. Above all, the owners truly prefer to operate in unanimity.
There is a lot more to unpack from this article, and I’m sure that Bucks fans will be all over Twitter today regarding the details that are included in the piece. However, the most important detail is the conclusion of Lowe/Windy’s article, and lends credence to the idea that this summer is vital to the future of the franchise:
[Giannis] Antetokounmpo is scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency in 2021. The clock is ticking.