Despite leading the Bucks to the NBA’s best regular-season record in each of the last two seasons, head coach Mike Budenholzer has faced criticism in the playoffs after losses to the Raptors in 2019 and Heat in 2020. In each series, there were concerns that Budenholzer was slow to make adjustments when things weren’t working and was reluctant to lean more heavily on his star players for big minutes.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Budenholzer’s job is safe heading into the 2020/21 season. Still, Charania stresses that there’s an understanding across the Bucks’ leadership group that “everyone must learn from this season and be better.” It’s probably a safe bet that Budenholzer’s seat will get a whole lot hotter in 2021 if the team’s next postseason run closely resembles the last two.
Here’s more on the Bucks from Charania:
- According to Charania, there’s an expectation among rival executives that the Bucks will focus this offseason on acquiring a play-maker and adding more shooting to the roster as they look to complement reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. Chris Paul has already been cited multiple times as one possible target, but Milwaukee figures to explore many options on the trade market and in free agency.
- Starting point guard Eric Bledsoe is considered likely to become a potential trade candidate this offseason, sources tell Charania. Bledsoe, who made the All-Defensive Second Team this season, has two fully guaranteed years left on his contract at $17.5MM annually. The final year of his deal in 2022/23 is only partially guaranteed ($3.9MM of $19.4MM).
- Charania confirms that the Bucks intend to put a five-year, super-max contract extension offer on the table for Antetokounmpo as soon as the 2020/21 league year begins, which could happen in November. The value of that offer remains up in the air, since the starting salary will depend on where the ’21/22 cap lands.