Jon Horst became general manager of the Milwaukee Bucks after former GM John Hammond left to take over the Orlando Magic in May 2017.
Since then, Horst was awarded Executive of the Year in 2019 and was the architect behind the Bucks winning the title back in 2021. But with back-to-back seasons in which the Bucks fell short of expectations, should Jon Horst be on the hot seat heading into the 2023 NBA season?
Should Milwaukee Bucks General Manager Jon Horst be on the hot seat?
Milwaukee was ousted in the second round against the Boston Celtics in a competitive seven-game series; that’s not enough to call for a change because a series like that can happen to any team, and Boston did up making it to the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, so that playoff loss looks better on Horst’s record.
In the 2022-23 NBA season, the Bucks had the best overall record but were quickly dispatched in five games against the Miami Heat, who have made an improbable run to the NBA Finals as an eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. The loss was disappointing considering the high expectations Milwaukee had before the season, and to lose in five games to an eight-seed was concerning, but it happened to the Dallas Mavericks in 2007 against the Golden State Warriors in which they were swept out of the first round; this playoff series loss isn’t enough, but next year will be a big year in Milwaukee.
Horst, after that series, quickly made the decision to fire Mike Budenholzer after five seasons, and after an extensive search that took over three weeks, the Bucks hired former Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin.
The roster construction for Horst has to come into question because outside of Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Brook Lopez; what other players on the roster can the Bucks rely on, especially in a playoff series? Guys like Pat Connaughton, Bobby Portis, and Grayson Allen should be expendable heading into next season because those three, in particular, had bouts of inconsistency all season, which from a team standpoint, makes the Bucks look top-heavy.
The trade for Jae Crowder at the NBA trade deadline didn’t pan out, and trading away George Hill, Jordan Nwora, Serge Ibaka, and five-second round picks for a guy who didn’t see a lot of action in the postseason doesn’t look good in the slightest.
The decisions Horst has to make this summer will be massive heading into the 2023 season. Namely, if he wants to give Khris Middleton a big contract, extend Brook Lopez, and put more consistent shooters around Giannis, the other move Milwaukee should make is to get a player who isn’t necessarily known for his offense but a guy who will guard the opposing team’s best offensive player guy like P.J. Tucker *wink *wink.
Should Jon Horst be on the hot seat? No, but the decisions he makes this summer, and how the 2023 season fares will go a long way to answer that question.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Milwaukee Bucks fare in the upcoming season.