Bucks: General manager John Hammond signs 5-year deal with Orlando Magic

The Milwaukee Bucks’ ongoing rebuild will continue without its main architect, as general manager John Hammond, who joined the Bucks nine years ago, is leaving the organization to take the same role with the Orlando Magic.

The Magic announced Tuesday that Hammond — who interviewed for the Orlando president of basketball operations job that went to Toronto Raptors executive Jeff Weltman earlier in the day — will join the Magic’s front office as Weltman’s right-hand man.

“We are very excited to join Jeff and be a part of the team in Orlando,” Hammond said in a statement. “The Magic are a first-class organization all the way around and we look forward to this tremendous opportunity. I want to thank the ownership in Milwaukee, Wes Edens, Marc Lasry and Jamie Dinan, for their support and I certainly wish them well.”

Hammond, 62, has served as the Bucks general manager since April 2008, when he replaced Larry Harris. The Bucks reached the playoffs four times with Hammond, who won the 2009-10 NBA Executive of the Year Award.

“John Hammond has been an incredible asset to the Bucks organization these last nine years and a true professional in every sense of the word,” Bucks ownership said in a release. “His keen eye for talent and relentless drive to build one of the finest teams in the league has helped the Bucks become a championship-caliber organization on and off the court. We wish John and his family nothing but the best in Orlando.

“We remain very excited about the prospects of our team and anticipate further announcements about the front office staff to be made in the near future.”

It was widely known that Hammond, if he stayed in Milwaukee, would remain as the general manager for this upcoming season before moving into a consulting role. Assistant general manager Justin Zanik, who was brought in last summer as the heir apparent, would then shift into the general manager role.

Weltman and Hammond previously worked together with the Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons and the Bucks.

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