Former Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer is a wanted man. ESPN is reporting that two NBA teams, the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors, have him as the top candidate for their coaching vacancies. However, the Milwaukee Bucks appear to be closing in on Mike Budenholzer fast.
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Milwaukee Bucks have brought in Mike Budenholzer for a second interview. It could only be a matter of time before the Bucks start contract negotiations with him.
One of the only holdups to the Bucks offering Mike Budenholzer the head coaching job could be if he is interested in hearing the Raptors’ pitch.
Mike Budenholzer has had an interview for just about every NBA coaching vacancy thus far. Budenholzer originally was given permission from the Atlanta Hawks to pursue other coaching opportunities. This was after the Hawks set a clear course to pursue a rebuild.
Under Mike Budenholzer the Atlanta Hawks made the playoffs in four of his five seasons. It was clear that guiding a team that is undergoing a rebuild had to be difficult for a coach of Budenholzer’s status. One rebuilding season was all it took for the Atlanta Hawks and Mike Budenholzer to agree that it was best to part ways (courtesy of ESPN).
It is the expectations that wherever Mike Budenholzer lands next he will be successful.
Budenholzer developed the reputation of a defensive-minded head coach, who preaches rotations and switches. His Atlanta Hawks teams were always among the best in defense. It was that philosophy which Budenholzer used to guide the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2014-15 NBA season.
What Mike Budenholzer does not get enough credit for is how he runs his offense.
As a disciple of the San Antonio Spurs, Mike Budenholzer believes in ball-movement, setting screens for easy shots, and how to take advantage of the best matchups. He was successful in getting the Hawks to play team basketball. What Budenholzer did not have in five seasons with the Hawks is a true superstar.
The Atlanta Hawks’ best player during Mike Budenholzer’s tenure was arguably Paul Millsap. If he were to be offered the Milwaukee Bucks job, Budenholzer would have Giannis Antetokounmpo. Along with Antetokounmpo is the talented Eric Bledsoe, Khris Middleton, and Malcolm Brogdon. That is huge for a coach who has done great with what many would consider to be less.
The talent in Milwaukee alone should be enough of a reason for Mike Budenholzer to view them as attractive. However, the Toronto Raptors also have an abundance of talent.
It is clear that Mike Budenholzer will be coaching in the NBA next season. Will it be with the Milwaukee Bucks or the Toronto Raptors? It would not come as a surprise if the Bucks step up their efforts in luring Budenholzer there.