The Milwaukee Bucks are doing their due diligence, as promised. With former head coach Mike Budenholzer out of the picture (and already getting some traction elsewhere), the Bucks need to put someone in his place. We have gone through all the possible avenues to find a worthy candidate, and it seems that general manager Jon Horst is doing the same. Here’s the latest on the Bucks’ coaching search.
Monty Williams, out in Phoenix
Since reaching a high point with a 2-0 lead in the 2021 NBA Finals, the situation has deteriorated for the Phoenix Suns. The team has fallen short of the conference finals for two years and bowed out this postseason in excruciating fashion. Naturally, just like with the Bucks, the easiest change is to remove the head coach, even if they are not the definitive root cause of the team’s problems. In any case, Milwaukee was interested in Williams back in 2018, and they’re interested in him now.
Bucks expected among teams to seriously pursue Monty Williams, sources say. Williams, who had $21M left on deal, is currently focusing on family in aftermath of ouster in Phoenix.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 15, 2023
Details on Williams, Suns plans ahead, more in The Bounce at @TheAthletic: https://t.co/GkuyZI70Ef
Reportedly, Williams is going to take his time, which aligns with the Bucks’ desire to conduct a thorough and deliberate search for their next coach. For their part, Phoenix is, per Shams Charania, prioritizing a new coach that “commands accountability and is creative in their offensive philosophy.” Considering the Bucks need someone that will do those things...and Williams was released in favor of someone who does more of those things...I’m not so certain that Milwaukee’s interest in Monty Williams is actually in the Bucks’ best interest. Stay tuned, I guess...
If you can't beat ‘em, hire ‘em!
Don’t look now (seriously), but the Miami Heat are back in the Conference Finals, along with the rest of the Bubble Crew (the Celtics, Lakers, and Nuggets all made the NBA’s final four in 2020 as well as this playoffs). Erik Spoelstra’s track record of success in Miami has inevitably led to the habit of his assistants getting attention for other lead openings, and the Bucks are getting in on the action by taking a look at Chris Quinn.
The Milwaukee Bucks received permission to interview Miami Heat assistant Chris Quinn for the franchise’s coaching job, sources tell ESPN. Quinn has emerged on Erik Spoelstra’s staff as a candidate for several recent openings.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 15, 2023
Quinn, 39, spent six seasons in the NBA and rounded out his playing career overseas and in the G-League before trading in a jersey for a clipboard. He eventually landed back on the Miami bench – the same franchise that originally took a flier on him as an undrafted free agent – in 2014 and he seems to be the next branch of the Spo coaching tree. Quinn’s experience under Spoelstra (and Pat Riley) in Miami over the course of time between the LeBron/Wade/Bosh Era and the current version of the Heat suggests that he’s been a part of several iterations of a basketball team that shares one undercurrent: tough-nosed play, high-level conditioning, and the requirement to put up a fight at all times. Quinn may not have experience in the lead chair, but the attention he’s getting from the Bucks shows that they’re looking in some of the right places to right their own ship.
Technically newsworthy, but...Mark Jackson?
The Milwaukee Bucks are interviewing former Golden State coach Mark Jackson for their open head coaching job, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Jackson, who had a .526 winning percentage in three seasons as Warriors coach, was a finalist for the Kings job last year.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 14, 2023
On the flip side from Chris Quinn, I simply don’t understand the point of even interviewing a candidate like Jackson, unless it’s being done as a major favor to his agent or current employer (ESPN). Jackson played 17 years in the league but only coached for three (2011-2014 in Golden State), and his departure came at the beginning of the Warriors’ dynasty atop the NBA when Steve Kerr replaced him.
Three seasons of head coaching experience, a decade ago, that culminated in a single playoff series victory? What’s the draw here, exactly?