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Jon Horst Wins Executive of the Year

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks-Press Conference Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY Sports

Giannis Antetokounmpo was a shoo-in for MVP, and Mike Budenholzer was the favorite for Coach of the Year, and Jon Horst completed the Milwaukee Bucks’ triad by taking home Executive of the Year last night at the NBA Awards.

Horst was, for all intents and purposes, everybody’s last choice when he took over for John Hammond as general manager. He was a complete unknown by Bucks faithful, and when GM-in-waiting Justin Zanik was unceremoniously not promoted to GM, the ire (unfairly) pointed in Horst’s direction was considerable. Fans’ real gripe was with ownership, who had jeopardized the franchise by allowing Jason Kidd to run amok and let John Hammond set sail for Orlando without a backup plan that they had agreed upon.

Horst, though, did nothing but excel at the role he was hired for from very early on. He made smart decisions, large and small, easy and difficult. He signed Giannis to a team-friendly contract when he had the opportunity. He traded for Eric Bledsoe when his value was at a low point. And this season, he worked with Mike Budenholzer to create a roster that was tailor-made to execute Bud’s “five-out” vision surrounding Giannis, and managed to bring in Brook Lopez and Pat Connaughton (for cheap), trade away bad money in Matthew Dellavedova and John Henson for George Hill, and extract value out of a bunch of tertiary moves to bring in Nikola Mirotic.

With that hardware on his mantle, Jon Horst also has job security by virtue of a three-year contract extension signed earlier this month. Bucks fans should be happy to have him at the helm, since the waters are about to grow particularly choppy. Congrats, Jon Horst!