Milwaukee Bucks: Jon Horst is reportedly the latest interviewee for GM job

Mar 20, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; A Milwaukee Bucks inflatable of mascot Bango flies prior to the game against the Utah Jazz at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Utah won 94-85. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 20, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; A Milwaukee Bucks inflatable of mascot Bango flies prior to the game against the Utah Jazz at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Utah won 94-85. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Even more uncertainty was cast over the Milwaukee Bucks’ search for a new general manager, as Jon Horst emerged as the latest internal candidate.

The search for the Milwaukee Bucks next general manager continues, and it also continues to get stranger and stranger by the day.

Only 24 hours after the Denver Nuggets saw off their advances for Arturas Karnisovas by promoting their assistant general manager to full general manager responsibilitites, the Bucks have reportedly started to consider another internal candidate for their own GM job.

As Marc Stein of ESPN laid out the details:

Jon Horst is a long-time Bucks employee who has been with the team since May of 2008. He followed John Hammond over to Milwaukee having previously worked as the Basketball Operations Manager for the Detroit Pistons. Horst worked under Hammond in the Pistons front office for two years, before their nine years together in Milwaukee.

In spite of his lengthy tenure with the Bucks, Horst won’t be a familiar name to most Bucks fans. Horst has spent plenty of time working behind the scenes alongside the likes of Dave Babcock and Billy McKinney, without getting quite the same level of public recognition.

A good example of Horst’s role in Milwaukee was captured in the days prior to last year’s draft when Charles Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel relayed John Hammond’s view of how the decision making process would work.

"“On Thursday it will be up to Hammond, assistant general manager Justin Zanik and Kidd to make the right choice.“I’m very inclusive, maybe to a fault to a certain extent,” Hammond said. “At the end of the day, it’s my pick and my name is going to be attached to the pick.“But that doesn’t mean we don’t take the advice of others, guys like Dave Babcock and Billy McKinney and Jon Horst (director of basketball operations) and Dave Dean (director of basketball administration). They’re out there on the road all year watching these guys.”"

Going even further back to soon after Hammond was hired, he told Frank Madden over at Brew Hoop what he saw as the purpose for figures like Horst in the organization.

"“You need young guys like that — the jack of all trades. Someone that has the mindset that no job is too big, but more importantly no job is too small. They’re basketball guys, but also kind of like project managers. When we’re preparing for things, whether it’s the draft or free agent issues, those guys always jump on projects like that.”"

Although Horst’s role has likely evolved significantly since that point, the mention of him getting involved in the draft is interesting.

As it stands, Justin Zanik is still set to manage Milwaukee’s draft decisions next week, but he’ll likely do so while feeling very insecure about his own job situation. If the Bucks are still without a permanent GM on draft night, they will have gone a full 30 days since Hammond’s departure without making a hire.

While there’s no doubting the professionalism and professional pride of Zanik and those working in support roles in preparation for that event, there’s still clear uncertainty and it’s impossible to qualify that as a positive.

Billy McKinney, the team’s Vice President of Scouting, made that much clear in conversation with Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel after a recent workout.

"“For McKinney and the rest of the staff, the timeline of when the Bucks figure it out could influence how they approach the draft. In a recent interview, team president Peter Feigin said ownership would reach a decision in the coming weeks and intimated that draft day is not a hard deadline.McKinney noted that Zanik has been with the team for over a year and already has performed well in spearheading the pre-draft process. With that in mind, would it be a big deal to him if the Bucks went into the draft without a permanent GM in place?‘It potentially could be,’ McKinney said. ‘The big question will be who will make the decisions? We’ve got Rod Thorn here also working with us consulting with the team, working on behalf of the owners until something happens. He’s abreast of everything that we’re thinking and we’re doing and we’ll wait to see what plays out.'”"

That “big question” is not one any team’s lead scout should be asking so close to the draft. With the Bucks also needing to use the current draft process to identify potential G-League players too, the timing of this lengthy pursuit is all the more unfortunate.

Although it was surprising to see the team open up a full search for Hammond’s successor, it was hard to criticize their desire to be thorough at that time. Over three weeks later, the process rolls on though, appearing bloated, overblown and not necessarily any closer to a positive resolution.

Next: NBA Draft 2017 Big Board 2.0: An updated top 75 prospects

If nothing is learned from the decisive manner which Denver reacted to Milwaukee’s interest in their assistant GM, who knows when this process will come to its end.