Bucks GM Hammond agrees to extension
ST. FRANCIS, Wis. -- The Milwaukee Bucks and general manager John Hammond have agreed to a three-year contract extension that will keep him with the team through the 2015-16 season.
Talks of an extension went public when Hammond said Jan. 8 that he was working on a deal to stay in Milwaukee with Bucks owner Sen. Herb Kohl.
"John does a terrific job for our basketball team," Kohl said in a statement. "He and his staff have assembled a roster of very talented players who are also very good people, which our fans appreciate and enjoy watching. John is highly respected by the players and among his peers and I'm happy he will continue to lead our basketball operations department."
Hammond, 58, was in the final year of his contract. Hired in 2008, he was named NBA Executive of the Year following the 2009-10 season.
The Bucks finished 46-36 in 2009-10 and made their only playoff appearance of Hammond's tenure as general manager. Injuries plagued the Bucks the following season and the team slipped to just 35 wins.
This season, Milwaukee raced to a 16-12 start before losing four in a row. Hammond met with coach Scott Skiles on Jan. 7 and the two sides agreed to part ways. Assistant Jim Boylan was the named the new head coach, and under Boylan, the Bucks are 6-2 and in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff hunt.
Uncertainty swirled around the franchise entering this season, as Skiles and Hammond both were in the final years of their contracts. Point guard Brandon Jennings will be a restricted free agent after the season, and shooting guard Monta Ellis can opt out of the final year of his contract.
With Hammond locked up, he can begin to alleviate some of the uncertainty. Though Boylan's contract runs only through the end of the season, Hammond can begin to evaluate the team's coaching situation now, as well as determine the futures of Jennings and Ellis.
Before joining the Bucks, Hammond spent seven seasons as the assistant general manager and vice president of basketball operations with the Detroit Pistons. During Hammond's time in Detroit, the Pistons won the 2004 NBA championship and made another trip to the NBA Finals and three trips to the Eastern Conference finals.
Since missing on his initial first-round draft pick as general manager of the Bucks, Hammond has done well in the draft. Joe Alexander didn't pan out, but point guard Brandon Jennings, center Larry Sanders and power forward John Henson are all big pieces of Milwaukee's future. Hammond drafted Jimmer Fredette in 2011 but traded him immediately for the draft rights to small forward Tobias Harris.
Hammond also has had a knack for finding talent in the second round of the draft, as Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Jodie Meeks, Jon Leuer and Doron Lamb have all contributed to an NBA roster.
Hammond's biggest trade has undoubtedly been dealing injured former No. 1 overall pick Andrew Bogut to Golden State at last year's trading deadline. In exchange for a player who is still not healthy, the Bucks got a starter in Ellis and a key backup big man in Ekpe Udoh.
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