3 disastrous mistakes the Bucks must avoid making this summer

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 18 (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 18 (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
3 of 3
Milwaukee Bucks: Meyers Leonard, Goran Dragic, Mike Budenholzer, Lindell Wigginton
Apr 7, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Make the wrong coaching choice

Something has to change in Milwaukee, and since the Bucks cannot really change their roster much, making a coaching change would be the easiest option. Right now, it might even be the only realistic chance to make a big, long-term change.

Mike Budenholzer won a title with the Bucks in 2021, and keeping him around is still an option. It seems unlikely, though. Winning a title has never saved a coach from losing their job, and Budenholzer might have just reached his expiration date in Milwaukee. If they hadn’t won the 2021 title, Budenholzer might have been fired back then already.

He extended his stay with a title, but this season he couldn’t replicate the same success anymore. He made mistakes in the playoffs, and while Budenholzer alone is not the reason for his team’s meltdown, he is the most replaceable part of the system. The fact that Giannis was not happy with Budenholzer’s coaching at the end of the series does not help his case, either.

If the organization decides not to give Budenholzer another chance, there are plenty of options to replace him. The name floating around most is Nick Nurse, who just left the Toronto Raptors after winning a title in 2019. Other candidates are Frank Vogel and Kenny Atkinson. Vogel won a championship with the Lakers in the bubble and is known for building defenses around rim-protecting big men. Atkinson is experienced with rebuilds and has not yet proven himself in the playoffs, but he could bring a new approach to Milwaukee. Other than that, there’s the option to bring in fresh NBA head coaching blood with Kings’ assistant coach Jordy Fernandez or Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon, for example.

The bottom line is the Bucks need a new, better offensive system in the half-court and a coach who is willing to make adjustments. Picking the right coach will dictate the team’s future, but it is a difficult decision. I’m not saying that there is necessarily a bad choice. All these coaches are talented and have their upsides. Not all of them will give Milwaukee what the team needs, however, and it is crucial that they figure out how to make the distinction.

Next. 3 Milwaukee Bucks free agents likeliest to be back next season. dark