The Bucks' coaching search is now down to three finalists - Hawks coach Larry Drew, Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson, and Lakers assistant Steve Clifford, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. Clifford will visit Milwaukee again on Tuesday, and Sampson and Drew on Wednesday for their second interviews, according to league sources.
Bucks GM John Hammond has a stronger history with Sampson thanks to the two years he spent on the Milwaukee staff under Scott Skiles. However, Hammond has been increasingly impressed by Clifford, who comes strongly recommended by the Bulls' Tom Thibodeau and Stan and Jeff Van Gundy.
Sampson had a strong run as the Rockets' interim coach while Kevin McHale had to leave the team and showed that he can handle the pro game. In three seasons in Atlanta, Drew has a 128-102 record and took the club to the playoffs all three years, including the conference semifinals in 2010-11. Drew's contract expires on June 30 with the Hawks, and he's expected to be replaced as coach soon.
While Sampson and Clifford are also strong candidates in Charlotte, each is eager for the opportunity with the Bucks, according to league sources. Milwaukee made the playoffs this season and has a much better overall roster than the Bobcats/Hornets.