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Suns hire Mike Budenholzer as next head coach

Mike Budenholzer Suns
Mike Budenholzer, hired by the Phoenix Suns, has made the playoffs in nine of his 10 seasons with the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks. (Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)

Suns hire Mike Budenholzer as next head coach

The Phoenix Suns are expected to hire Mike Budenholzer as the team’s next head coach, NBA insider Shams Charania of The Athletic was the first to report Friday. The hiring came over 12 hours after Budenholzer was labeled the frontrunner for the position by ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

He will be tasked with replacing Frank Vogel, who got axed after one season at the position. The process from Vogel to Budenholzer was quite quick, which makes you wonder if the two sides were discussing before Vogel’s firing.

But that’s neither here nor there.

Budenholzer, who was fired by the Milwaukee Bucks after last season, was reportedly in consideration for the Suns job last year before it went to Vogel; he was also in the running for the position in 2018 after the organization parted ways with Earl Watson in 2017-18.

In 10 combined seasons as head coach with the Atlanta Hawks and Bucks, Budenholzer went 484-317 (.604), making the playoffs in nine of those 10 seasons, including one NBA Title with Milwaukee in the COVID-shortened 2020-21 season over Phoenix.

He’s won 50-plus games five times with two 60-plus win seasons; in seven of his 10 seasons, his teams have won at least 58 percent of their regular season contests–five of those coming in Milwaukee.

Budenholzer’s biggest shortcoming have come in the postseason, where he’s had a tendency to get outcoached due to his lack of adjustments. He’s built good cultures around superstars–such as Giannis Antetokounmpo–but has had more disappointing playoff finishes than not.

Will he be able to have success with Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal, among others? Let us know in the comments!

***

This is a breaking news story. Stay tuned for updates.

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