Ranking the Milwaukee Bucks’ rumored top 3 head coaching candidates

Mar 4, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 4, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /
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Phoenix Suns: Monty Williams
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 20 (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Ranking the Milwaukee Bucks’ rumored head coaching candidates: Wildcard: Monty Williams

Albeit much earlier than the report that the Bucks had narrowed their coaching search to three names, insider information from Shams Charania also indicated the Milwaukee Bucks would “aggressively pursue” former Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams for the position. It’s unclear if that pursuit continues to this day, but it’s an interesting idea considering the Milwaukee Bucks beat Williams’ Suns en route to the 2021 NBA championship.

There are a number of pros to hiring Williams as the Milwaukee Bucks’ next head coach. To a degree, he is a proven winner in the regular season. He has a winning record in both the regular season and the playoffs, and he has led his team to the NBA Finals.

The talent available on the Suns’ roster was certainly a factor, but by and large, Monty Williams was able to coach the Suns into one of the most balanced units in the league, and they dominated the opposition with their steady play on both ends of the floor. In 2022-23, the Suns finished seventh in defensive rating (112.3) and fifth in offensive rating (116.1), according to NBA.com/stats.

However, there are also some cons to hiring Williams as the Bucks’ next head coach. For instance, there are valid concerns regarding his ability to adjust in the playoffs. The Suns, in the past few years, have floundered to significantly lesser opponents in the Western Conference playoffs. It’s not that they lost: it’s how. The Suns have dropped multiple must-win games due to poor showings up and down the roster, including the 2-0 lead they gave up to the Bucks in 2021. Because of this, they’ve been criticized as being mentally weak.

Williams is also a bit of a defensive-minded coach in the mold of Mike Budenholzer. That’s not necessarily a con, but the Bucks’ front office has to consider that they haven’t been one of the best offensive teams in the NBA in recent years, especially in the playoffs. Milwaukee’s defense has always been schematically sound, but their offense has historically gone stagnant when up against equally-stout defensive units. After years of cultivating their defense-first culture and system, they might be looking for a coach who can help them take their offense to the next level this time around.

Monty Williams is also not as experienced as some of the other candidates who have been mentioned for the job, and as a result, he’s also been outcoached by Budenholzer in the past. The Bucks will need to weigh these things carefully if they are actually willing to take a chance on him.

Ultimately, the decision of who to hire as the next head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks will be up to the team’s front office. However, all three of these candidates would be good choices and would give the Bucks a chance to compete for a championship.

Only time will tell which one of these candidates will eventually make it to the position of Milwaukee’s next head coach. But one thing’s for sure; if any of these names are the sure pick, then the future is bright for this next era of Bucks basketball.

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Stay tuned for more updates and analysis as the Milwaukee Bucks search for their next head coach continues.