3. Mike Budenholzer
The Bucks fired Budenholzer after their shocking first-round playoff exit. Remember, Milwaukee had the best regular season record in the NBA this season, and they are just two years removed from winning a championship. They decided to go in a different direction, but that should not be a knock on coach Bud.
Mike Budenholzer has been a head coach in the NBA since 2013. In those ten seasons, the 53-year-old is 484-317 and has reached the playoffs nine times. His team advanced to the second round six times, including three conference finals appearances and one title.
Budenholzer revamped the Bucks’ defense and helped Giannis Antetokounmpo blossom into one of the best players in the league. Milwaukee became an annual contender under Bud, and he will likely never get the credit he deserves because of the way things ended.
The two-time Coach of the Year did not coach the best series against the Heat in the first round, but he was dealing with the death of his brother (subscription required). Budenholzer deserves a pass for that one, and he would likely bring some fresh ideas to Philly. Could he findways to get Joel Embiid open looks? Coach Bud unlocked Giannis and helped him reach a new level.
Mike Budenholzer was the first name on Woj’s list of candidates for the Sixers, and rightfully so. Expect him to get serious consideration for the job.