Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond is leaving the organization to take the same role with the Orlando Magic. The Magic announced Wednesday that Hammond — who interviewed for the Orlando president of basketball operations job that went to Toronto Raptors executive Jeff Weltman — will join the Magic’s front office as Weltman’s right-hand man. The duo has previously worked together with the Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons and the Bucks. In formally announcing Weltman’s hire Tuesday, Orlando said that Magic interim general manager Matt Lloyd was also expected to stay with the organization.

Hammond’s imminent departure would appear to establish current Bucks assistant ‎general manager Justin Zanik as the favorite to take over as Milwaukee’s lead front-office voice. In a statement, the Bucks said they anticipate making an announcement about changes to their front office in the “near future.”

With numerous rival teams expecting Orlando to wait until the end of the playoffs to make a serious run at Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin, Magic officials changed course abruptly over the weekend, choosing Weltman as the successor to the ousted Rob Hennigan. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported earlier this week that both the Magic and the Atlanta Hawks have been denied permission to speak with Griffin during the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Hammond had been the Bucks general manager since 2008. In that time, he put together the team’s current core, nailing drafts picks in Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has become one of the premier players in the league, Jabari Parker, and Malcolm Brogdon. He also engineered the trade that brought in Khris Middleton from the Detroit Pistons for Brandon Jennings, who he also drafted. The Magic will now hope he can do the same for their team, which has struggled to put together a solid core for the last few years.

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