A report from The Athletic suggests that the job of Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer is safe in light of the Bucks’ playoff flameout to the Miami Heat.
The Milwaukee Bucks are assessing the wreckage of a 2019-20 season that ended in disaster after they lost to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Chief among them is the job of head coach Mike Budenholzer and we have some clarity on that front, courtesy of a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The newsbreaker reports that Budenholzer’s job is safe from seeing his stay in Milwaukee come to a quick end.
For some Bucks fans, that may be a bitter pill to swallow, given just how the season ended.
After all, Budenholzer’s established playoff shortcomings were on full display throughout the Bucks’ brief playoff run and especially in the series against the Heat.
Whether it was Budenholzer’s management of minutes for his lead stars, maintaining a deep rotation even as the Bucks’ depth had become a sore spot in their performance and so on, Budenholzer’s faith in the team’s identity didn’t pay off on the court whatsoever against Miami.
And the overarching lack of adjustments/steadfast belief in his system that Budenholzer is more infamous for, now more than over, reared its ugly head once again after yet another playoff collapse on his shaky playoff resume.
But there are a couple of cold hard facts that paint a clearer picture of why Bucks ownership are reportedly holding off on doing anything drastic in regards to Budenholzer’s position.
The first being that Budenholzer just finished up the second year of a four-year contract that he agreed to upon coming to Milwaukee back in May of 2018. Given the uncertain business climate the Bucks and the NBA at large is steeped in at the moment, that’s not an insignificant factor and one that should be taken into account. Especially as the Bucks are almost assuredly going into the luxury tax for the 2020-21 season after avoiding it this season in a highly public manner.
Second, the Bucks will explore any and all upgrades that can make with their roster and that will take precedence this offseason.
It should come as no surprise that Charania included in his report that Eric Bledsoe is shaping up to be a potential trade candidate after yet another year of struggling in the playoffs. While that’s shaping up to point Bledsoe as the fall guy in that scenario, he is far from the Bucks’ biggest problem in that regard.
What’s clear is that the Bucks don’t want to upset their foundation amid all of the speculation surrounding their superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo as he heads into the final year of his current contract and has his supermax extension waiting for his signature.
In order for him to put pen to paper or even declare his intentions of staying in Milwaukee in the long-term, the Bucks organization has to cater to his needs and quest to win an NBA championship. And Budenholzer is certainly included on that front.