Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond is leaving the Cream City. He has accepted a 5 year deal with the Orlando Magic to become their GM.
Hammond is one of two new faces in the front office for the Magic. The other is Jeff Weltman, a now former Toronto Raptors executive.
It is pretty upsetting to see John Hammond leave right when this team was starting to take shape. A young core with some playoff experience and a decent group of players around them is a very exciting team to watch, and more exciting to build. Unfortunately, Hammond will no longer be building this team.
During his time in Milwaukee Hammond had his share of ups and downs. His trades were questionable at times. A lack of major deadline deals and some trades that made no sense at all left some Bucks fans scratching their heads. However, for every bad move made, JH seemed to make up for it.
Hammond's strength is his drafting. He drafted Jabari Parker at #2 (an easy call), Malcolm Brogdon at 36th, Thon Maker at 10th, and most notably Giannis Antetokounmpo at 15th. His ability to find talent combined with his willingness to take chances on different players shows that he is confident in what he's doing. While ultimately the play of the team is what determines the success of a GM, confidence is something all great GMs have.
While I have faith in the Bucks organization to find a new GM, whether it be through promoting someone already in Milwaukee or searching for someone outside the franchise, I do have one question. Can the next GM follow the blueprint laid out by Hammond?
We can clearly see that the foundation for a contending team has been laid out. The core is pretty much set with Antetokounmpo, Middleton, and Parker. Other young players like Thon Maker and Malcolm Brogdon seem like they could be with the team for a while. The questions start popping up when thinking about how one supports the young talent. Greg Monroe and Tony Snell are two great examples of what this team needs. It needs reliable inside scoring and three-point threats. It's critical that the new GM makes the right moves to finish the championship puzzle.