Five Notable/Potential Candidates To Replace Mike Budenholzer


In today’s league, the scope and lens is always glued to the world’s best players. Championship standards scream louder than ever with everyone under the microscope around the illustrious figure, and I mean everyone. That is the depth chart, that is management throughout an organization.

One thing turns gloomy while the window is open, and the whole family tree gets reviewed.

Each time the Milwaukee Bucks have come up short of expectations outside of their 2021 championship, Mike Budenholzer has always been primarily scapegoated.

In fact, the year before their title, Milwaukee’s bubble collapse to Miami was the closest choke to this season’s historic fallout. The Bucks, who had the best record in the league, friendly-swept by the Heat, and sent home way too soon. Many assumed the dismissal could have came back then, but now was clearly most appropriate. The Bucks wasted no time during their shocking aftermath of a crumble beginning their change of scenery.

An abundance of candidates are on the table. A gig that is more desirable than most for suitors to coach one of the best players in NBA history. Many great minds are available. So, let’s take a look.

Nick Nurse

When it comes to the Raptors miraculous 2019 championship coach, the field of the associations’ best teams are ready to be lined up at the door, says Shams Charania. Particularly, some destinations of the league’s best that were sent home early. Nick Nurse has huge interest as imagined. The Bucks have already announced him as a finalist.

The 2020 Coach of the Year has set an immediate impact since becoming a head coach. His standards instantly set a tone motivating organizations to maintain unselfish, collective styles, not paying attention to projections. His knowledge and capabilities were a main ingredient to prolonging projection of playoff normalcy in Jurassic Park, even following Kawhi Leonard’s departure. His rookie, title year provided glimpses with Toronto going 17-5 without the Klaw.

Nurse’s degree of winning naturalized Toronto’s lingering around the last few seasons. The Raptors were the No. 2 defense and seed in the East after Leonard brought the championship. He gave Pascal Siakam and Fred Van Vleet the belief they could be stars, while Kyle Lowry only played 58 games. The next weirdest season of all-time with no fans in 2021 as a 12-seed, none of their key players played over that same amount of games with them still staying in the middle of the pack for OFF/DEF RTG. Nurse led them to a near top-10 defense in his five seasons at the helm.

Nurse’s 227-163 record along with 25-16 in the postseason clearly speaks for itself. The attraction he is receiving around the league is certainly appropriate. If Milwaukee surely wants to maintain its’ usual dominance while potentially creating an even greater empire with more of a wining culture, they should look nowhere else. New talent would have outside attraction as well.

Monty Williams

Monty Williams is the second of the last four championship coaches to be let go and likely the most surprising. The 2021-22 Coach of the Year has the highest winning percentage of a coach through the last three years. Plenty of familiarity with the three biggest names on the Suns in experience with former places and the U.S. Men’s National team to make it even more shocking. Williams is a prominent and valuable interviewee for the Bucks.

Williams instantly took over when the league headed to the NBA bubble in the summer of 2020 preparing his young team with one message: Get better.

He inserted instant belief into the franchise as Phoenix went an unexpected 8-0 in their play. Williams had a .628 winning percentage with the Suns, going 27-19 in the playoffs. People around the league know about Williams’ relationships with his players. Giannis Antetokounmpo could be the next historic figure that he earns the belief of towards the expected direction of the organization.

Kenny Atkinson

Atkinson, now 55 years of age, was also recently named a finalist to run the board for Milwaukee. Spending the last two seasons as an assistant to Steve Kerr’s defending champion Warriors, Atkinson also helped lead the Brooklyn Nets to the playoffs two consecutive seasons with not-so-great rosters in 2019 and 2020. It was rumored that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant had pushed for change.

Now having won a title, the interest towards Atkinson around the league had multiplied. The Hornets tried making him their Head Coach, but Atkinson decided to remain with Golden State. His discipline and voice within the locker room is what has been likable throughout the league. Atkinson typically gets the most out of his players–hence the Nets. His toughness, accountability and experience from years as a player and assistant speaks for his IQ as any coach. That 2020 Brooklyn team had the ninth-best defensive rating before being sent home with ease in round one by Toronto.

The Bucks may have the right idea in this scenario. Atkinson could be a good mentor for Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday and their other two big parts in Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez if they stay.

JJ Redick

On May 10, sources told Adrian Wojnarowski that JJ Redick had interviewed for the Raptors gig. Woj also said how the Boston Celtics had also considered the retired shooting guard as an assistant previously. As many who follow Redick’s analysis via ESPN’s telecasts and visions through broadcast and podcasting would agree, this sudden idea is a thumbs up. Redick has now long-exhibited his high basketball IQ.

To say the long-time veteran who is strongly capable is an understatement. Redick, with one of the richest pre-NBA tale’s in the history of basketball, made a Finals and was consecutively in playoff contention through the latter half of his career as an important piece.

World-wide, tremendously loved and respected throughout the league and all its’ junkies for his knowledge. Redick was in Milwaukee for a very brief appearance at the deadline following Orlando and before the Antetokounmpo selection. Everyone’s admiration for Redick his life around the game goes beyond words. Antetokounmpo is one of basically every face around in and around the NBA that loves Redick. He would probably enjoy having him manage the team and hold them accountable. Redick has also stated many times how Giannis is one of his favorite players. The fit could bring a likable success for both sides.

Adrian Griffin

Adrian Griffin, who the Bucks are expected to interview this week, also has a significant career resume. The 22-year player was Nurse’s assistant in the 2019 title-winning Raptors team. He also served as an assistant in Milwaukee from 2008-10. His everlasting career and history around the league could be a pivotal driving force towards the Bucks’ sense of hire with their likings of Griffin.

Milwaukee is narrowing it down to three headlined by the two who won together in Toronto and Atkinson. There are many candidates that would be fitting for both parties with the potential at stake for both. It will be interesting to shortly see who the Bucks choose to steer their ship in the correct direction.

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