Mike Budenholzer to become Bucks next head coach

Heather Diaz
May 17, 2018

The Toronto Raptors reportedly never extended a contract offer to new Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer.

For general manager Jon Horst, Budenholzer had always been his top target, and a finalized contract is expected to be completed soon, league sources said.

Budenholzer and Spurs assistant Ettore Messina was the other finalist for the job.

The person confirmed the agreement with the former Atlanta Hawks coach on Wednesday.

He now becomes the 16th head coach in Bucks history, and takes over for Joe Prunty, the interim coach forced to step in when the Bucks fired Jason Kidd.

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With Budenholzer having joined the Bucks, the Raptors' search for a new coach continues onward.

He spoke with the Phoenix Suns and the Knicks about their respective coaching vacancies, but he pulled his name out of discussion for the Suns job.

Wojnarowski noted Budenholzer is "considered one of the NBA's best tacticians".

He guided the Hawks to the 2015 Eastern Conference Finals and was named the NBA's Coach of the Year that season. The future is bright, however, and Jon Horst believes Budenholzer is the right choice to steer 23 year-old superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo and the rest of the Bucks past the first round of the playoffs.

The Hawks made the postseason four of the five seasons under Budenholzer, going 17-22 in the playoffs, but were last in the East in 2017-18, after a 24-58 season. He won four National Basketball Association titles as a member of San Antonio's staff.

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