MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks stayed in-house to fill their general manager vacancy.
The team named director of basketball operations Jon Horst as its next GM on Friday. He will replace John Hammond, who left last month to take the Orlando Magic job.
Horst will take over building a young, promising roster led by All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and coached by Jason Kidd. The Bucks finished above. 500 for the first time since 2009-10, losing to the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs in six games.
“Our No. 1 priority is building a championship-caliber organization and we believe Jon is the right person to be our general manager,” team owners Wes Edens, Marc Lasry and Jamie Dinan said in a statement.
Horst, 34, had been director of basketball operations since 2008, serving under Hammond. Horst was involved in personnel evaluation, salary cap management and contract negotiations.
His NBA front office experience began in 2005 with the Detroit Pistons, where he also worked with Hammond while his former boss was vice president of basketball operations.
“I’m extremely grateful to our ownership group for their faith and trust in me,” Horst said.
One of the NBA’s up-and-coming franchises, the Bucks also plan to move into a new downtown arena in time for the 2018-19 season.
Hiring Horst would add stability with the NBA draft just six days away. The Bucks resumed prospect workouts this week after a break in the schedule.
Other offseason questions loom. Center Greg Monroe, a key player off the bench, has a $17.8 million player option for 2017-18. Monroe has until the night of the draft on June 22 to make his decision.
Tony Snell, a defensive specialist and 3-point shooter, is a restricted free agent.