The Milwaukee Bucks are in “no rush” to name their next head coach, according to Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer, and the list of reported candidates to succeed Mike Budenholzer is growing longer by the day.
On Thursday, Yahoo Sports reported that former Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel and Paris Basketball coach Will Weaver will interview with the Bucks. Yahoo Sports also reported that former Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams will “factor prominently” in Milwaukee’s search, which jibes with Shams Charania of The Athletic saying Monday that Milwaukee would pursue Williams aggressively and has him at or near the top of its list.
Among others in the mix, per several reports from ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski: Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Scott Brooks, Toronto Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin, former Charlotte Hornets coach James Borrego, Golden State Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson, Bucks assistant coach Charles Lee, Suns assistant coach Kevin Young, Miami Heat assistant coach Chris Quinn, Washington Wizards coach Joseph Blair and University of Houston coach Kelvin Sampson.
The Athletic reported that former Golden State coach Mark Jackson will interview with Milwaukee, too. CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander confirmed the Sampson interview.
Relevant notes on these candidates:
- Williams will reportedly draw interest from all the other teams looking for new coaches, save for the one that fired him. He has been linked to the Detroit Pistons, Bucks, Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers.
- Brooks coached the Oklahoma City Thunder from 2008 to 2015 and the Wizards from 2016 to 2021.
- Griffin is also a candidate for the Toronto job and reportedly interviewed with the Pistons.
- Borrego was a candidate for the Bucks job in 2018 and was named the coach of the Hornets several days before Milwaukee hired Budenholzer.
- Atkinson, who nearly replaced Borrego with the Hornets last year, coached the Brooklyn Nets from 2016 to 2020.
- Lee has spent the last nine years working under Budenholzer, having joined his Atlanta Hawks staff (which also included Atkinson) in 2014. Lee is also reportedly one of the Pistons’ three finalists for their vacant coaching position and reportedly interviewed with the Raptors.
- Vogel won a championship as the coach of the 2020 Lakers, following two years with the Orlando Magic and nine years with the Indiana Pacers, including more than five years as head coach. He is also reportedly a candidate for the newly vacant Philadelphia job.
- Weaver last worked in the NBA from 2020 to 2022 as an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets, and he was the coach of the G League’s Long Island Nets in 2018-19.
- Quinn has been on Erik Spoelstra’s staff since 2014 and has reportedly interviewed with Toronto and Detroit.
- Young is reportedly a candidate for the Raptors and Suns jobs.
- Blair coached the G League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers in 2018-19 and has since been an assistant coach in Philadelphia, Minnesota and Washington.
- Sampson has spent the last nine years at Houston, but was an NBA assistant coach for the six years before that, including a stint in Milwaukee from 2008 to 2011 under Scott Skiles.
- Jackson coached the Warriors for the three seasons preceding their 2014-15 title run and is a color commentator for ESPN.
Milwaukee is rumored to be interested in Los Angeles Clippers coach Tyronn Lue, according to Yahoo Sports, but it doesn’t seem likely that they’ll let him go, according to both Yahoo Sports and ESPN’s Zach Lowe. (Phoenix would also reportedly be interested in Lue if he were available, but he could instead sign a new contract with the Clippers.)
The Bucks finished the 2022-23 regular season with 58 wins, the best record in the NBA, but lost their first-round series against the Heat in five games and fired Budenholzer in early May, less than two years removed from celebrating the 2021 title, the franchise’s first since 1971. In addition to the coaching change, Milwaukee could have a significantly different roster next season. Brook Lopez, Joe Ingles, Wesley Matthews and Jae Crowder are all unrestricted free agents, and Khris Middleton and Jevon Carter can be, too, should they turn down their respective player options.