MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks and general manager John Hammond are working on a contract extension, according to Hammond.
In the final year of his contract, Hammond is open to staying with the organization, and talks are moving toward a deal that would make that happen.
Hired in 2008 after Larry Harris was fired, Hammond was named the NBA’s Executive of the Year following the 2009-10 season.
The Bucks finished 46-36 and made the playoffs in 2009-10 but fell to just 35 wins the next year and then missed the playoffs again in the lockout-shortened season.
“In Year 2, we kind of surpassed expectations and had a fun season, made the playoffs,” Hammond said Tuesday after he replaced coach Scott Skiles with assistant Jim Boylan for the rest of the season. “Could have, should have won a first-round series (against Atlanta). That didn’t happen. Then we move into Year 3, and I’m still going to stand here today and say there’s no doubt in my mind we made our team better.
“No team, no team could withstand what we did from an injury standpoint. We were just decimated by injuries that year. Because of that we took a step back. But I truly believe it’s only because of the injuries.”
An extension for Hammond would begin to alleviate a bit of the uncertainty around the franchise. Both Hammond and Skiles entered the 2012-13 with contracts through only the end of this season. Plus, point guard Brandon Jennings will be a restricted free agent in the offseason, and shooting guard Ellis has a player option for next season.
Hammond has made it clear that the organization wants to keep its two best players.
“It’s a part of what we all deal with,” Hammond said of the uncertainty. “We have an owner (Herb Kohl) that is committed to winning. We have an owner that is committed to having the Milwaukee Bucks here long term. Nothing has changed in that regard. Nothing is going to change in that regard.