Suns Targeting Veteran Coach Mike Budenholzer to Replace Frank Vogel, per Report

Apr 7, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer reacts.
Apr 7, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer reacts. / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Mere hours after firing one former NBA champion coach, the Phoenix Suns appear poised to hire another.

The Suns are targeting Mike Budenholzer for their head coaching vacancy, according to a Thursday afternoon report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Wojnarowski characterized Budenholzer as the "front-runner" for the job.

Budenholzer, 54, previously led the Atlanta Hawks from 2014 to '18 and the Milwaukee Bucks from 2019 to '23.

With the Bucks in 2021, Budenholzer won his only NBA title—against coach Monty Williams and Phoenix, who Milwaukee defeated in six games. Despite his accomplishment, the Bucks dismissed Budenholzer in May 2023 after losing to the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs—a move widely criticized after Budenholzer's brother died in a car crash during the series.

The Suns dismissed coach (and 2020 NBA champion) Frank Vogel Thursday after a 49–33 season ended in a first-round postseason sweep at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

If hired, Budenholzer will be Phoenix's third coach in three years, joining Williams and Vogel.


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Patrick Andres

PATRICK ANDRES

Patrick Andres has been a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated since 2022. Before SI, his work appeared in The Blade, Athlon Sports, Fear the Sword, and Diamond Digest. Patrick has covered everything from zero-attendance Big Ten basketball to a seven-overtime college football game. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.