The Milwaukee Bucks have stayed in-house to fill their general manager vacancy.
The team named director of basketball operations Jon Horst as its next GM on Friday. He will replace John Hammond, who left last month to take the Orlando Magic job.
“I’m extremely grateful to our ownership group for their faith and trust in me,” Horst said in a news release. “Wes, Marc and Jamie have demonstrated a commitment to building a championship-caliber team, providing the necessary tools and resources, and I’m excited to execute their vision. In my new capacity, I’m looking forward to working with Jason Kidd and the coaching staff, along with our world-class performance team, to give our talented players the support they need to bring a championship to Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin.”
Horst will take over building a young, promising roster led by All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and coached by Kidd. The Bucks finished above. 500 for the first time since 2009-10, losing to the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs in six games.
“Our No. 1 priority is building a championship-caliber organization and we believe Jon is the right person to be our general manager,” said Bucks owners Wes Edens, Marc Lasry and Jamie Dinan in the news release. “He has been an integral part of basketball operations for the last nine years, and has helped advise us on every major basketball decision since we purchased the team. Jon is very talented, capable, organized and someone we have leaned on for his strategic thinking and ability to execute our vision.”
The 34 year-old Horst had been director of basketball operations since 2008, serving under Hammond. Horst was involved in personnel evaluation, salary-cap management and contract negotiations.
Horst’s candidacy rapidly gained steam this week after Denver Nuggets executive Arturas Karnisovas — one of two finalists for the job, along with Bucks assistant GM Justin Zanik — withdrew from the search to take a promotion from the Nuggets.
With Bucks ownership unable to come to an agreement on promoting Zanik to the top spot to replace Hammond, Horst quickly emerged as the choice.
Sources told ESPN’s Marc Stein that Hammond wanted to take Horst with him to Orlando, where he recently became general manager under new Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman.
“There is a tremendous level of enthusiasm surrounding our new state-of-the-art arena, the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Science Center and transformational development of downtown Milwaukee,” the owners said in the news release. “We’re excited about the future of our organization and are confident that Jon will lead our team to the highest level.”
Information from The Associated Press and ESPN’s Marc Stein was used in this report.