Jon Horst will be named the new general manager of the Milwaukee Bucks later Friday, according to league sources.
Sources told ESPN that the Bucks and Horst, currently the team’s director of basketball operations, are in the process of finalizing a new contract for the longtime Milwaukee executive to take charge of the front office.
Horst’s candidacy rapidly gained steam this week after the Denver Nuggets executive — one of two finalists for the job, along with Bucks assistant GM Justin Zanik — withdrew from the search to take a promotion from the Nuggets.
With Bucks ownership unable to come to an agreement on promoting Zanik to the top spot to replace John Hammond, Horst quickly emerged as the choice.
Horst joined the Bucks organization in the summer of 2008 under Hammond after they worked together in Detroit. Sources say Hammond wanted to bring Horst with him to Orlando, where he recently became general manager under new Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman.
Zanik just completed his first season as the Bucks’ assistant GM under Hammond. Zanik has been running Milwaukee’s preparations for next week’s NBA draft while Bucks ownership consultant Rod Thorn has been spearheading the GM search.
It remains to be seen whether Zanik will stay with the Bucks, but sources say Milwaukee plans to hire an experienced front-office executive to help mentor Horst.
ESPN reported earlier this week that Milwaukee had narrowed its choices to replace Hammond to Zanik and Karnisovas, and appeared to be closing in on a decision.
But the Nuggets disrupted the process Wednesday by promoting Tim Connelly to president of basketball operations and elevating Karnisovas to general manager.