Milwaukee Bucks: Ownership’s role in dysfunctional general manager search

Mandatory Credit: Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Sports /

Further details of the reported tensions among ownership that complicated the Milwaukee Bucks’ GM search have emerged via an ESPN report.

Not that it necessarily took a detective to be able to identify troubling signs from the Milwaukee Bucks’ disjointed, recent general manager search, but with the dust having settled further details are beginning to emerge.

As Jon Horst and the Bucks’ decision-makers are likely hard at work preparing for Tony Snell’s free agency and attempting to find ways to open up cap space, a detailed report of the ownership tensions that led to the young GM’s appointment has emerged.

Co-authored by Zach Lowe and Brian Windhorst of ESPN, “Who’s running the Milwaukee Bucks? That’s a good question” shines a light on the process of the GM search, as well as many of the inner workings of the ownership group at present.

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As had previously been reported, the report confirms that the ownership group was split on who the team’s next general manager should be. Wes Edens was said to be the only holdout, but as the team’s governor and the man with final say, that ultimately led to a pivot were the owners agreed on Horst.

"“Horst’s hiring was a brokered solution after some disagreement among the ownership, sources say. When Horst had his introductory press conference last week in Milwaukee, Edens was the only partner present. That was not an accident. [Marc] Lasry and [Jamie] Dinan had legitimate scheduling conflicts, but could have made time for the event had they really wanted to be there, sources say.”"

According to Lowe and Windhorst’s reporting, the ownership group have a number of slightly unusual agreements. These include a desire for all decisions to be unanimous rather than majority-led, and an agreement for the governor’s role to rotate every five years. In other words, the role which may have given Edens the edge in the GM decision will be Lasry’s in a couple of years.

The ESPN duo also report that as the search for a new general manager started to drag on, NBA commissioner Adam Silver got involved to suggest former Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry as a suitable candidate.

"“With the search bogged down and complicated, NBA commissioner Adam Silver advised the Bucks, according to sources, to consider former Cavs and Hawks GM Danny Ferry, who is currently a consultant for the Pelicans. The Bucks reached out to Ferry, and he was open to discussing the job, but a formal interview was never scheduled, sources said.”"

Other interesting details of the ESPN report include Horst’s $500,000 salary, described as a “very modest contract by current GM standards”, and the note that some of the team’s hierarchy spent much of last season wondering if head coach Jason Kidd “was the right man for that job long term”.

Even after all of that, there’s no detail likely to trouble Bucks fans more than the article’s conclusion:

"“[Giannis] Antetokounmpo is scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency in 2021. The clock is ticking.”"

Next: Milwaukee Bucks: 20 realistic free agent options for the Bucks

At a time when the team is showing so much promise on the court and is preparing to move into a state of the art training facility and arena, Bucks fans certainly could have done without another dose of ownership dysfunction.