Jon Horst earned this.
He wasn’t the Bucks first choice as GM — he was the compromise candidate after factions of the ownership group could not agree on another candidate — but Horst did what players trying to break into the league always say they want to do: he took advantage of his opportunity. He let go of Jason Kidd and hired Mike Budenholzer, filled out the roster with good role players such as Brook Lopez, and put together a roster that had the best record in the NBA this past season.
After that, he earned an extension to the one year left on his deal and a raise from the reported $500,000 a year he was making (making him the lowest paid GM in the league). He got it. Well, at least the extension, and we assume a raise. The Bucks announced the new deal on Friday.
“Jon’s strong leadership and savvy decision-making ability have been instrumental as we continue to build the Bucks into a championship-caliber organization,” said Bucks owners Wes Edens, Marc Lasry and Jamie Dinan through a statement. “He has brought smart processes to our basketball operations and together with Head Coach Mike Budenholzer and President Peter Feigin, Jon has done an incredible job connecting the basketball and business sides of our organization. We are excited about the future of our team and confident in Jon leading us to the highest level.”
Horst now has some serious work to do the rest of the summer. Lopez, Khris Middleton, and Malcolm Brogdon are all free agents and the Bucks will need to go into the luxury tax to keep them. Expect them to do that and be willing to spend as they work to prove to Giannis Antetokounmpo that the Bucks can remain contenders and that when the Greek Freak can get his supermax contract extension next summer he will take it.