Magic hire Bucks GM John Hammond for same role

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.

"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."

The duo has previously worked together with the Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons and the Bucks.

"John brings tremendous experience and is a great talent evaluator," Weltman said in a statement. "He has experience in everything from day-to-day operations to player development. He built a great team in Milwaukee, and won a championship while in Detroit. We are very fortunate to have him as part of the Magic family."

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.