May 25, 2024

Suns plan to hire Mike Budenholzer as coach: Sources

The Phoenix Suns plan to hire Milwaukee Bucks champion Mike Budenholzer as their coach on a deal expected to approach eight figures per year, league sources said Friday.

Lead assistant coach David Fizdale is expected to transition to a new front office role for the Suns, those sources said.

The news comes a day after Phoenix fired coach Frank Vogel following a season marred by struggles with health and consistency. The team’s campaign ended on April 28 with a first-round sweep to the Minnesota Timberwolves after the Suns went 49-33 in the regular season.

Budenholzer quickly emerged as the leading candidate to replace Vogel. He led the Bucks to the 2021 NBA championship and the team won the division title in all five of his seasons in Milwaukee.

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With Phoenix, Budenholzer — a Holbrook, Ariz., native — will be tasked with optimizing the star trio of Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal. Under Vogel, locker room frustration mounted in his single season as injuries hindered the big three and a lack of bench depth hurt the Suns in the postseason.

Effectively utilizing Booker, Durant and Beal remains a priority for Phoenix, as the team has $150 million locked into the trio next season.

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(Photo: Patrick McDermott / Getty Images)