NBA Rumors: Bucks to Pursue Knicks HC Candidate Mike Budenholzer

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2018

Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer reacts against the Portland Trail Blazers in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brett Davis)
Brett Davis/Associated Press

Former Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer appears to be a hot name on the coaching market in the NBA.

According to the New York Post's Mark Berman, the Milwaukee Bucks are expected to pursue Budenholzer, who one source told Berman is the New York Knicks' top choice for their vacancy.

Budenholzer and the Hawks mutually agreed to part ways at the end of April after five seasons together.

The 48-year-old owned a career 213-197 regular-season record with Atlanta, winning the 2015 NBA Coach of the Year after leading his team to a 60-22 record and the top seed in the Eastern Conference. He posted a 17-22 mark over four postseason appearances and made one appearance in the Eastern Conference finals.

Although he had no prior head-coaching experience before Atlanta, he spent 17 seasons serving as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs.

Milwaukee, on the other hand, fired Jason Kidd in January following a disappointing 23-22 start to the season. Assistant Joe Prunty stepped in as interim coach and led the team to a postseason berth by going 21-16 the rest of the way. The Bucks pushed the second-seeded Boston Celtics to seven games in the first round of the 2018 NBA playoffs before ultimately being eliminated.

Now, Milwaukee is tasked with the responsibility of finding a coach who can maximize the roster's potential—and, more importantly, keep star Giannis Antetokounmpo happy enough where he will want to stay with the franchise long term.

Berman notes that Budenholzer's Hawks contract contains an offset clause, which gets Atlanta off the hook for at least part of the $14 million remaining on the deal should he land another gig.

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