This time last year, it seemed Bucks GM John Hammond's job was on the line as the team chased the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The team fell short last year, but Hammond kept his job, and now the Bucks are in line for that eighth seed in the East. In the meantime, Hammond has been busy, having changed coaches, signed a three-year extension, and traded for J.J. Redick. There's plenty more work ahead, as the team's top three guards could all hit free agency this summer, and a decision on an extension for Larry Sanders looms. HoopsWorld's Bill Ingram caught up with Hammond, who reflected on some of what he's done.
On the Redick trade:
"We were hoping to make the playoffs. We thought adding a piece like J.J. Redick could help solidify that opportunity for us and he has. He’s been a great addition to our team. We’re also happy to have Gustavo (Ayon) and Ish Smith. It might be easy to forget about Gustavo and his abilities. We like him as a player, but it was a difficult trade to make to say the least. To move a piece like Tobias Harris and Doron Lamb; we like both those players, both good young players, but we felt at that time it was the right thing for our organization."
"Jim’s done a nice job with the team and I think we’re all seeing these situations that have occurred. It’s not a rarity in the NBA to have something like this happen. It’s not normalcy, but it’s not rarity by any stretch, so it happens. Most of the times when these sort of things happen, the situation goes south and goes south very quickly, but Jim has done a great job of working with our guys and communicating with our guys and motivating them to play hard. He deserves a lot of credit."
On the development of Sanders, a Defensive Player of the Year candidate:
"You draft Larry with the 15th pick and you’re hoping that when you used a first-round pick on a player that they turn out to be a location guy or better yet a starter, and Larry has turned out to be a significant piece of our team and a part of our team. Obviously, he’s one of the better shot blockers in the NBA. It’s been great for Larry, but he’s just taking advantage of the opportunity, and I think his game still has a chance to change and grow, and he’ll continue to develop as a player."