Fresh off the franchise’s first title in 50 years, everybody’s getting paid. First, it was coach Mike Budenholzer agreeing to a contract extension. Now it’s the turn of the guy who brought Bud on in the first place:
ESPN Sources: After franchise’s first NBA championship in 50 years, Milwaukee Bucks GM Jon Horst has agreed to a long-term contract extension.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 15, 2021
As of this writing we don’t have details about the contract length or annual value. Horst had begun his tenure as one of the lowest-paid GMs in the league (earning $500K annually). His initial success included winning the 2019 Executive of the Year award and his first three-year contract extension in the summer of 2019. That deal had one year left to run, but Horst will now be locked in at the helm for the long-term.
It’s hard to describe just how unlikely this all seemed when Horst was initially promoted to GM. The wrangling over John Hammond’s replacement was messy to say the least. Ownership failed to stick to the ostensible succession plan which would have seen Justin Zanik (now Jazz GM) take the reins, and instead then-governor Wes Edens flexed his decision-making muscle to give Horst the role. Horst was paid little, relatively unknown, and put in power just as Milwaukee began to finesse that fraught transition between rebuilding and contending.
Four years and plenty of transactions later, we can look back and say the gamble was a resounding success. Most important was his securing Giannis Antetokounmpo’s supermax extension, but there’s also the firing of Jason Kidd, the hiring of Mike Budenholzer, the trade for Jrue Holiday, and numerous free agent signings/trades that helped fill out the roster around Milwaukee’s superstar.
Congrats to Horst on his new deal, and we obviously wish him the best of luck as he tries to keep Milwaukee atop the league for the long-haul.
Update: Woj Pod appearance by Horst!
Bucks GM Jon Horst on The Woj Pod: The championship run, the culture Giannis constructed, his contract extension.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 15, 2021
Plus: NBA Today host @malika_andrews on Nets/Kyrie Irving, Sixers/Ben Simmons and debut Monday of her new daily NBA show on ESPN.
ESPN audio: https://t.co/LU9PF7AEK3