The Bucks have found their next coach. According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Wednesday evening, Milwaukee reached an agreement with former Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer. The Bucks beat the Raptors to the punch on the hiring, as Masai Ujiri’s bunch had been interested in Budenholzer as well. Where the Raps go from here remains to be seen, but they could keep things in-house and promote assistant coach Nick Nurse, who is reportedly a candidate for the opening.
Toronto announced Friday that Casey, the all-time winningest coach in franchise history, was fired from his post after seven seasons. Casey led the Raptors to the top seed in the Eastern Conference and a franchise-best 59 wins, but were swept by LeBron James‘ Cavaliers in the second round of the playoffs.
Elsewhere, there are some rumors emerging around the Orlando Magic job. University of Houston coach Kelvin Sampson, who led the Cougars to a 27-8 record and a second-round exit in the NCAA Tournament in his fourth season in 2018, is getting buzz as the focal point of the Magic’s search, per a report from the New York Times’ Marc Stein.
As for the Hawks, they announced the hiring of 76ers assistant Lloyd Pierce to fill the head coaching vacancy left by Budenholzer.
In hiring news, the Charlotte Hornets officially filled their coaching vacancy with Spurs assistant coach James Borrego, making the news official on Thursday. Borrego’s hire comes as a bit of a surprise as the Hornets were tied to a different Spurs assistant, Ettore Messina. But Borrego served as the Magic’s interim coach in the 2014-15 season, when he went 10-20 with Orlando after Jacque Vaughn was fired midseason. He has also been an assistant with the Hornets, Spurs and Magic during his coaching career.
The NBA had another coaching vacancy open up last week as the Pistons announced that Stan Van Gundy will not return as coach or president of basketball operations. In four seasons under Van Gundy, Detroit missed the playoffs three times, including this season when it finished 39-43. The Pistons will be looking to hire their new coach and a team president separately. Some potential names there are David Griffin for president, and Jerry Stackhouse and Budenholzer for coach.
We’ll continue to update this post with the latest firings, hires and rumors from around the league.
NBA 2018 Coaching Carousel
The Hawks have agreed to hire 76ers assistant Lloyd Pierce as the team’s head coach.
Charlotte has agreed to a deal with former Magic interim coach and Spurs assistant James Borrego to a reported four-year contract.
Detroit and Stan Van Gundy have parted ways. The search for a new coach and president will begin immediately.
David Griffin has been rumored as a potential candidate for the front office position, while Jerry Stackhouse and Mike Budenholzer are potential replacement coaches.
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Magic have secured interviews with the following candidates: Jerry Stackhouse, according to Yahoo Sports, as well as David Vanterpool and Ime Udoka,according toJosh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. President of basketball operations Jeff Weltman has indicated he would rather fill the coaching job “sooner than later,” according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The Magic are reportedly keying in on University of Houston coach Kelvin Sampson, according to a report from Marc Stein of The New York Times. Stein says that this comes from insiders congregated in Chicago for the NBA Combine this week. Sampson was an NBA assistant with the Bucks and Rockets before joining the Cougars 2014.
Portland Trail Blazers
Portland reportedly considered firing coach Terry Stotts after the team was swept in the first round of the playoffs. Multiple teams like the Magic and Suns were ready to pounce if he were to become available, but Portland has changed its mind and wants to keep Stotts through the final year of his contract, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times.
Possible coaching candidates
Dwane Casey, 61, former Raptors coach
David Blatt, 58, former Cavaliers coach; current Turkish Super League coach
Mike Brown, 48, former Cavaliers coach; current Warriors associate coach
Steve Clifford, 56, former Hornets coach
Stan Van Gundy, 58, former Pistons coach
Vinny Del Negro, 51, former Bulls and Clippers head coach
Becky Hammon, 41, current Spurs assistant coach
Jeff Hornacek, 54, former Knicks and Suns coach
Mark Jackson, 53, former Warriors coach; current TV analyst