4:58pm: The extension is official, the Bucks announced, confirming that it carries through 2016/17.
12:12pm: The Bucks are extending the contract of GM John Hammond through the 2016/17 season, a source tells Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link). Hammond’s deal was to expire at the end of this coming season. However, the team isn’t retaining assistant GM David Morway, Gardner also reports (on Twitter).
“A great deal of our team’s success and progress is due to the vision and hard work of John,” Bucks owner Wes Edens said, according to Gardner. “He’s assembled a talented and competitive roster and we’re very pleased that he will continue to lead basketball operations.”
Hammond was quoted in a statement about the end of Morway’s time with the team, as Gardner relays. That suggests Hammond played a role in the decision not to bring him back.
Questions have surrounded Hammond’s power in Milwaukee since Edens and partners Marc Lasry and Jamie Dinan purchased the franchise last year. Lasry told Chris Mannix of SI.com in December that he preferred a committee approach and indicated that coach Jason Kidd‘s voice carried just as much weight. The extension means Hammond’s contract will end at the same time as Kidd’s, Gardner notes. Lasry admitted last summer that it was a mistake to keep Hammond out of the loop when the team brought Kidd into the organization. The new owners were non-committal about Hammond when they first bought the team in the spring of 2014, and it was around that time that they held preliminary talks about potential replacements for Hammond and Morway, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe reported then.
Still, the 61-year-old Hammond has remained, and the team’s bounceback season in 2014/15 that included a playoff berth this spring, plus the surprise signing of marquee free agent Greg Monroe, surely had much to do with the team’s willingness to work out an extension. Hammond won the league’s Executive of the Year award in 2010, after his second season in charge of the front office, but the Bucks have yet to equal the 46-36 mark they put up that year, and they haven’t moved past the first round of the playoffs under Hammond’s watch, either.
Morway had spent the last two years in his role with the Bucks after coming over from the Pacers, where he served under Larry Bird and Donnie Walsh, who held the title of president of basketball operations.
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