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Suns hire ex-Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer to replace Frank Vogel

Suns hire ex-Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer to replace Frank Vogel

The Phoenix Suns wasted no time replacing Frank Vogel

The Suns struck a five-year, $50 million deal with Mike Budenholzer on Friday to make him their next head coach this week, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania. The news came just one day after the Suns split with Vogel.

The Suns made the hiring official on Saturday, though they didn't disclose terms of the deal.

“We’re excited to name Mike as the head coach of the Phoenix Suns and bring him back to his home state of Arizona,” Suns owner Mat Ishbia said in a statement. “Mike has proven himself to be among the most successful head coaches in the NBA. He is the right leader to take us to the next level and reach our championship goals.”

The job marks Budenholzer’s third head coaching gig in the league, and his first since the Milwaukee Bucks fired him after the 2022-23 campaign. He spent five seasons in Milwaukee and led the organization to its second NBA championship, and first alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, but he was out just two seasons later.

Budenholzer didn’t coach anywhere in the league this past season, but he was widely considered a top candidate this offseason. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Budenholzer had been working to assemble a coaching staff for his next job in recent weeks.

Budenholzer, who spent 17 seasons coaching under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, also spent five seasons leading the Atlanta Hawks. He holds a 484-317 career coaching record, and he went 271-120 with the Bucks.

“I am honored to be named head coach of the Phoenix Suns, the team I grew up watching,” Budenholzer said in a statement. “I would like to thank Mat Ishbia, Josh Bartelstein and James Jones for the opportunity to lead this team. I’m grateful to have a talented roster of players who are ready to compete and play a style of basketball that will bring out the best in all of them, and bring them together as we compete for championships.”

The 54-year-old, who is from northern Arizona, will now replace Vogel in Phoenix. The Suns fired Vogel on Thursday after just one season with the team. The Suns went 49-33 under his leadership, but they were swept by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round of the playoffs.

Budenholzer is the third head coach in Phoenix in as many seasons. He’ll be tasked with trying to turn around a franchise that bet on stars like Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal after a pretty rough run in the Western Conference. The Suns traded away much of their key depth in order to bring those stars in to join Booker, and they have few draft picks in the coming years.

While they have plenty of roster issues to figure out, Budenholzer is clearly ready to hit the ground running. Whether he’s enough to spark a true change in Phoenix right away remains to be seen.

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