Mike Budenholzer To Receive Full Hawks Salary

Although the end of the relationship between Mike Budenholzer and the Hawks was classified as a mutual parting of ways, it doesn’t appear the two sides agreed to any sort of buyout of the two years and $13MM+ remaining on Budenholzer’s contract.

Budenholzer will receive the full amount of the money left on his contract with the Hawks, reports Jeff Schultz of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. That was a “lump Hawks owner Tony Ressler did not want to swallow,” according to Schultz, who suggests that the team was willing to agree to the arrangement in order to move on and begin searching for a new long-term head coach.

Continuing to pay their old head coach isn’t an ideal situation for the Hawks, but Schultz notes that Atlanta’s financial obligation to Budenholzer will be lessened if he lands a new head coaching job elsewhere. While the specifics aren’t clear, it sounds like the agreement between the Hawks and Budenholzer includes some form of set-off rights that will prevent the veteran coach from collecting his full salary from Atlanta while also earning a full salary from a new team.

In order for the Hawks to reduce their commitment to Budenholzer though, he’ll need to be hired by a new team. After interviewing with the Suns, Budenholzer withdrew from consideration for that job, so he appears to only be in the mix for the Knicks’ position for now. There have been rumblings in recent weeks that Budenholzer could be eyeing the Bucks’ job, but as long as Milwaukee remains in the playoffs, interim coach Joe Prunty continues to hold that role.

As Schultz observes, Ressler and GM Travis Schlenk initially wanted to leverage other teams’ interest in Budenholzer into compensation for letting him out of his contract. Not receiving any compensation and remaining on the hook for Budenholzer’s $13MM salary is almost a worst-case scenario for the franchise. However, with Budenholzer’s return having become increasingly untenable and Atlanta wanting to start interviewing candidates to replace him, the club felt it was time to make a move, even if the financial pill was a tough one to swallow.

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3 thoughts on “Mike Budenholzer To Receive Full Hawks Salary

  1. Z-A

    What? That makes no sense lol. These contracts in sports have to be some of the dumbest ever. Teams paying coaches years after bc they end up being terrible coaches. No where else, besides being an athlete I guess, can you get guaranteed money, guaranteed absurd amounts of money, for being a complete waste of space in your profession.

    • yoyo137

      I definitely agree with your point overall. It’s ridiculous that guys like Derek Fisher can still make NBA head coach money after they’re fired. But in Budenholzer’s case, he’s too good of a coach for their rebuild. I think he signed a long term deal to be coach before the rebuild with the promise of ownership to put a contending team on the floor. When Teague, Millsap, and Horford left as free agents, they went with the rebuild and it only made sense to part ways with him, even though he’s a great coach. What doesn’t make sense is that there were reports that they’d part ways because he was getting paid too much. The idea was that $6m for a coach on a rebuilding team is poor allocation of assets. But paying that coach his $6m and you still need to hire a new guy for at least $2m? Add that to the fact that they can no longer receive anything in return from the team who eventually hires him, and it’s a complete head scratcher for Atlanta.

    • Reflect

      I mean if you don’t want to pay a coach after you fire them you can simply not offer multiyear deals.

      Or just don’t sign terrible coaches in the first place.

      Don’t blame the system because some idiot teams thought Derek Fisher or Jason Kidd would be a good coach.

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