After conducting a “broad” search for a new general manager, the Bucks have narrowed their group of candidates down to three finalists, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. According to Wojnarowski, Nuggets assistant GM Arturas Karnisovas, Hawks advisor Wes Wilcox, and Bucks assistant GM Justin Zanik have emerged as the top contenders for the position.
The Bucks conducted a round of interviews in New York this week, and will now bring Karnisovas and Wilcox to Milwaukee for additional meetings with team officials, per Wojnarowski. Zanik is already in Milwaukee, having been tasked with making draft preparations for the franchise in the wake of former GM John Hammond‘s departure.
According to previous reports, the Bucks had also been considering Pacers president of basketball operations Peter Dinwiddie, Grizzlies VP of player personnel Ed Stefanski, Pistons associate GM Pat Garrity and Heat assistant GM Adam Simon, Blazers assistant GM Bill Branch, and Timberwolves assistant GM Noah Croom, among others. However, it appears those execs are no longer in the running.
As Wojnarowski details, there is “strong internal staff support” within the Bucks organization for the team to simply promote Zanik. Co-owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens, as well as Jamie Dinan, are heavily involved in the process though, and have differing opinions on the best candidates for the job, as Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times writes.
Woelfel’s report, which was published before Wojnarowski, cited sources who said that Zanik and Karnisovas are “held in high regard” by Bucks ownership.