Mike Budenholzer and the Milwaukee Bucks have reached an agreement to make him the franchise’s next head coach, according to multiple reports.
ESPN reported on Tuesday that Budenholzer, the front-runner for the job, and San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina, the other finalist, were meeting with ownership in a second round of interviews. Budenholzer met over breakfast with Bucks forwards Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton on Wednesday morning before the team extended a formal offer, according to ESPN.
Budenholzer was also reportedly still in talks with the Toronto Raptors, who had targeted him as a replacement for the recently fired Dwane Casey.
Budenholzer, 48, was the 2015-16 NBA Coach of the Year but was released from his contract with the Atlanta Hawks at the end of this regular season to pursue other opportunities. He spoke with the Phoenix Suns and the New York Knicks about their respective coaching vacancies earlier this offseason, but he pulled his name out of discussion for the Suns job.
He went 213-197 in his five seasons in Atlanta, leading the team to four playoff appearances before this season’s 24-58 record. Budenholzer previously served as a Spurs assistant for 17 years.
Milwaukee parted with Jason Kidd in January and assistant coach Joe Prunty served the rest of the season as interim head coach. Others to interview for the job this spring included Spurs assistant Becky Hammon — the first woman ever to interview for an NBA head coaching job — and Spurs vice president of basketball operations Monty Williams.
—Field Level Media