Team makes final decision on the future of general manager Jon Horst

The Milwaukee Bucks have a tough offseason ahead of them. After failing to advance past the first round of the NBA Playoffs for the second year in a row, the team must find a way to keep an aging core of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton to surround himself with younger players who can keep up with the faster teams in the Eastern Conference.

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The challenge, of course, is that the Bucks are in the second apron of the salary cap, meaning they can’t really trade their players without getting the exact same salary back.

However, this is not uncharted territory for the Bucks. They have had high salaries for years and have still found ways to build a competitive team. The architect of these teams, Jon Horst, was named NBA Executive of the Year in 2019 and built an NBA Championship roster in 2020-2021.

However, one division rival has been eyeing Horst for its own front office.

The Detroit Pistons are interested in hiring Milwaukee Bucks General Manager Jon Horst

Milwaukee Bucks, Jon Horst
The Bucks’ all-star contingent of (from left) Khris Middleton, head coach Mike Budenholzer and Giannis Antetokounmpo pose for photos with general manager Jon Horst before Milwaukee’s game against Orlando on Saturday.
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As reported a few weeks ago (on April 19 to be exact), the Detroit Pistons have expressed interest in interviewing Horst for their vacant position as President of Basketball Operations. Not only that, Horst also wants to talk to them.

While it may not make sense to fans why Horst would want to leave a perennial contender like Milwaukee for a franchise that has finished with the worst record in the NBA two seasons in a row, it is important to take into account the fact that Horst is a is a Michigan native who got his start in NBA front offices with the Pistons.

There’s also the idea that Horst doesn’t really have anything left to prove in Milwaukee. He has already won a title. Maybe he’s intrigued by the challenge of turning around the Pistons, just like he turned around the Bucks.

The Milwaukee Bucks have denied Jon Horst permission to interview with the Detroit Pistons

Milwaukee Bucks, Jon Horst
January 27, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks general manager Jon Horst (left) and head coach Glenn Rivers arrive at a press conference at the Fiserv Forum. Mandatory credit: Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY Sports

According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Pistons won’t get a chance to talk to Horst, and he won’t talk to them either. The Bucks have denied their Central Division rivals permission to interview their general manager:

“The Bucks this week declined to grant permission for the Pistons to interview Michigan native Jon Horst in Detroit’s search for a new president of basketball operations, league sources said.

“It is believed that Horst, who won Executive of the Year honors in Milwaukee in 2018-19 and more recently made the trade that brought Damian Lillard to the Bucks in September, was indeed interested in talking to the Pistons. Horst signed a multi-year contract extension with the Bucks in October 2021, with two years remaining on his contract at that time.”

This is a big win for the Bucks because, if fans remember, Horst is the one who signed Giannis to not one, but two supermax extensions. Keeping him in Milwaukee is truly the best thing for the franchise.

What happens when his contract expires in two years? Hopefully the team still has one or two more rings and Horst won’t be as willing to look for other opportunities.

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