Confirmed: Milwaukee Bucks hire Jon Horst as GM after 'contentious search'

Horst is the Bucks' Dir. of Basketball Operations

The Milwaukee Bucks have officially hired their director of basketball operations Jon Horst as the team's new general manager.

“I’m extremely grateful to our ownership group for their faith and trust in me,” Horst said. “Wes, Marc and Jamie have demonstrated a commitment to building a championship-caliber team, providing the necessary tools and resources, and I’m excited to execute their vision.

"In my new capacity, I’m looking forward to working with Jason Kidd and the coaching staff, along with our world-class performance team, to give our talented players the support they need to bring a championship to Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin.”

The Bucks' ownership group also commented in a statement:

“Our No. 1 priority is building a championship-caliber organization and we believe Jon is the right person to be our General Manager,” said team owners Wes Edens, Marc Lasry and Jamie Dinan.

“He has been an integral part of basketball operations for the last nine years, and has helped advise us on every major basketball decision since we purchased the team. Jon is very talented, capable, organized and someone we have leaned on for his strategic thinking and ability to execute our vision."

Earlier on Friday, both The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski and ESPN's Marc Stein were reporting Horst as the likely option after a 'contentious search.'

Earlier in the week, Wojnarowski reported that the Bucks were between interim GM Justin Zanik and Denver assistant GM Arturas Karnisovas. However, Karnisovas pulled his name out of the running after he was promoted to Denver's head GM position.

Horst, who worked with Milwaukee's previous GM John Hammond going back to their days in Detroit, then emerged as a late potential candidate for the opening.

Zanik was presumed to be the GM-in-waiting after his hire in 2016. But once Hammond was gone, the Bucks opened up a league-wide search, though Zanik was still thought of as a potential candidate.

According to Wojnarowski, Zanik was the preferred choice among both co-owner Marc Lasry and head coach Jason Kidd, but a full consensus was needed.

In reading between the lines, this means fellow co-owner Wesley Edens was in the Horst camp.

ESPN's Marc Stein reported that Zanik has been in charge of the Bucks' draft preparation, which is on Thursday, June 22.

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