While Nick Nurse, Kenny Atkinson, and Adrian Griffin are the only finalists that have been reported so far in the Bucks‘ head coaching search, Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel hears from a source that the team could still expand that list of finalists.
For now though, Milwaukee seems to be deciding between Nurse, Atkinson, and Griffin, prompting Eric Nehm of The Athletic to consider why each coaching candidate may – or may not – be a fit for the franchise.
A league source who spoke to Owczarski (subscription required) got the sense that Bucks general manager Jon Horst prefers a coach with “a bit of edge” in terms of style. That could be a point in favor of Nurse, who gained a reputation for experimenting with unorthodox defensive styles when he took over as the head coach in Toronto. As Nehm observes, Nurse also won a championship in his first year as a head coach, a feat the Bucks are hoping their next coach will be able to replicate.
The second round of interviews for the Bucks is expected to include dialogue with two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, Marc Stein writes at Substack. Horst told reporters earlier this month that he expected to get input from Antetokounmpo during the team’s coaching search.
Here’s more from around the Central:
- Pacers assistant Calbert Cheaney is leaving Rick Carlisle‘s staff to return to his alma mater and become the director of player development at Indiana University under Mike Woodson. Carlisle and the Pacers put out a statement thanking Cheaney for his contributions and wishing him well in his new job. The team also announced that Isaac Yacob is being promoted from head video coordinator to a player development role.
- The Pacers, armed with five picks in this year’s draft, will almost certainly trade one or more of them, writes Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star (subscription required). With the picks they keep, the Pacers won’t be overly focused on positional fit, but likely won’t select anyone who will be a defensive liability, Dopirak adds.
- Kelsey Russo of The Athletic considers a few options for the Cavaliers‘ pick at No. 49, identifying Marquette forward Olivier-Maxence Prosper, Illinois wing Terrence Shannon, and Eastern Michigan wing Emoni Bates as possible targets. Prosper, who had a strong showing at least week’s combine, may not still be available by the time Cleveland picks — he ranks No. 32 on ESPN’s big board.