Milwaukee Bucks: New GM reportedly could be named this week

Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

After a wait that feels longer than it really has been, the Milwaukee Bucks new general manager will reportedly be hired soon.

With the NBA Draft quickly approaching, it’s not a great time for an NBA team to not have a general manager. Still, that’s the position the Milwaukee Bucks is dealing with right now ever since John Hammond left for the Orlando Magic GM vacancy.

According to expert NBA reporter Marc Stein, it’s not a position the Bucks will be in for long. In a series of two tweets, Stein first reported that Milwaukee has narrowed the field down to two candidates: Justin Zanik and Arturas Karnisovas.

Then, in a follow-up tweet, Stein let it be known that the Bucks should have their new GM, or as Stein put it, “lead voice”, within a week’s time.

If Stein is right about all this–and there’s no reason to believe he isn’t–then it seems like the Bucks gave up on luring David Griffin away from Cleveland. The NBA Finals might end tonight, but Griffin wouldn’t be able to get vetted and interviewed by the end of the week even if the Cleveland Cavaliers season ends right now.

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With Milwaukee taking so long to hire someone, one theory was that the team planned on giving Griffin a chance, even if it meant not hiring a GM proper until after the NBA Draft, something Peter Feigin hinted was a possibility.

Also, Bucks fans can continue to breathe a sigh of relief that Ed Stefanski is not being considered for the gig anymore. For info on Stefanski, check this Liberty Ballers post on the news he was getting GM consideration.

That leaves Zanik and Karnisovas. Zanik is the “incumbent” as he’s been with the team all season and was reportedly going to be in line for Milwaukee’s GM opening once Hammond left, which seems to have happened sooner than Bucks ownership anticipated, hence this long search process.

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Karnisovas is a former professional player in Europe who never ended up getting an NBA contract, although he did ball out overseas, racking up three EuroStar nods and a European Player of the Year award in 1996.

He’s been with the Denver Nuggets for about four years now, and was a candidate for the Brooklyn Nets GM opening last year before Sean Marks got the job. Karnisovas has a reputation for finding European diamonds in the rough, one that’s hard to dispute when looking at the talent Denver has had since he’s been there.

Jusuf Nurkic and Nikola Jokic are the two most recent examples. Both of them look to be game-changing centers now, although it took Nurkic leaving the Nuggets for him to really burst onto the scene. Jokic is unbelievable, and his passing looks to change Denver’s offense for the foreseeable future.

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Both Karnisovas and Zanik appear to be good options, and either of them could be named as the Milwaukee Bucks next GM. Bucks fans likely just want somebody to be hired, so the team can proceed with this crucial offseason.