Suns Hire Mike Budenholzer As Head Coach

May 11: The Suns have officially announced the hiring of Budenholzer, making it official in a press release.

Mike’s exceptional basketball acumen, championship pedigree and his standing as one of the NBA’s premier coaches will be invaluable as we compete for a championship,” Suns general manager James Jones said in a statement. “We’re confident that under his leadership our team will reach new levels of success.

May 10, 5:32pm: Budenholzer and the Suns have agreed to a five-year worth in excess of $50MM, sources tell Charania (Twitter link).

May 10, 11:05am: The Suns are hiring Budenholzer, the Arizona Republic’s Duane Rankin tweets.

The hiring will “most likely” be officially completed this weekend, according to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter links), who adds that Phoenix liked Budenholzer’s “ability to hold players accountable.”

May 10, 9:24am: The Suns are planning to hire Mike Budenholzer as their head coach, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports (Twitter link). Budenholzer’s multi-year contract is expected to approach eight figures per year, Charania adds.

It’s a swift move by Suns owner Mat Ishbia and the front office, as they announced the firing of Frank Vogel on Thursday. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported later in the day on Thursday that Budenholzer was the frontrunner for the job.

Like Vogel, who lasted just one season with Phoenix, Budenholzer brings a championship résumé to a roster with three stars — Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal — and a collection of role players, mostly on veteran’s minimum contracts.

“They view Mike Budenholzer as a clear choice that can really come in there and optimize those three guys,” Charania said on FanDuel TV’s Run It Back program (video link). “That’s really where this all hinges at, that the big three (is) being fully maximized and utilized the right way offensively.”

A two-time Coach of the Year and an Arizona native, Budenholzer won a championship with Milwaukee in 2021. He coached the Hawks for five seasons and the Bucks for five seasons, compiling a 484-317 regular season record and a 56-48 mark in the postseason.

Phoenix had the league’s third-highest payroll in ’23/24, and that figure is projected to continue to grow in ’24/25. The Suns have very little flexibility to make roster changes, due to their salary being above the second tax apron, so changing coaches is one of the few ways of shaking things up unless they look to move one of their stars.

In a full story for The Athletic, Charania, Doug Haller and Eric Nehm report that David Fizdale, Vogel’s top assistant, is expected to be offered a front office role with Phoenix. However, the belief is that Fizdale will turn down that offer.

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