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Next Milwaukee Bucks Head Coach Odds: Who Will Replace Mike Budenholzer?

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 6 mins

Next Milwaukee Bucks Head Coach Odds: Who Will Replace Mike Budenholzer?

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The Milwaukee Bucks have earned the No. 1 seed in three of the last four seasons under head coach Mike Budenholzer. 

They also flamed out of the postseason in all three of those instances, including this season in a shocking five-game wipeout at the hands of Jimmy Butler and the No. 8-seeded Miami Heat. 

Now Budenholzer is out, and someone new will be in to coach up a team with Giannis Antetokounmpo coming off a season with the most wins in the NBA. It should command a who’s who of opportunistic applicants. 

Bookies.com oddsmaker Adam Thompson has used his resources of NBA contacts developed over 20 years covering the league to create his hypothetical NBA futures odds on which coach takes over the Bucks for the 2023-24 season. 

Milwaukee Bucks 2023-24 Head Coach Odds

CoachOddsImplied Probability
Monty Williams+35022.2%
Nick Nurse+40020.0%
Chris Quinn+50016.7%
Doc Rivers+75011.8%
Tyronn Lue+90010.0%
Kenny Atkinson+11508.0%
Mike D'Antoni+15006.3%
Scott Brooks+20004.8%
Sam Cassell+20004.8%
Mark Jackson+25003.9%
The Field+80011.1%

These odds have been created by the Bookies.com team for entertainment purposes only and are not representative of odds that may be available on legal betting apps.

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Despite the successes, Coach Bud was hammered for getting out-coached in elimination series. It was on full display in the first round this season. The Bucks failed to adjust to Butler’s takeover efforts, keeping Giannis off defending Butler despite Giannis publicly wanting the gig. 

That, and a failure to use timeouts in critical situations, plus two epic fourth-quarter meltdowns, provided the final nails in the coffin. 

Still, few jobs open up with this level of talent on the roster. Milwaukee led the NBA in wins and has a two-time NBA MVP, NBA champion and one of the top offense-defense standouts of this generation. 

Giannis has two years remaining on his contract, while three-time All-Star Khris Middleton ponders a player option for next year. Jrue Holiday has one year left then a player option, while center Brook Lopez is a free agent. 

It's an aging, expensive roster built to win now. Milwaukee will be one of the favorites to win the 2024 title on NBA betting sites if it keeps its roster in tact this offseason.

Bucks Head Coaching Candidates

Nick Nurse guided the Toronto Raptors to an NBA championship in 2019, and an upset postseason win over the Bucks. He recently left the Raptors and is considered one of the top basketball minds. 

The Iowa native may relish a return to the Midwest, and he is likely near the top of the Bucks’ wish list as well. 

So, too, is Monty Williams, who just suffered a Budenholzer-like jettison from the Phoenix Suns. Williams was the 2022 NBA Coach of the Year, but consecutive postseason bombs did him in. 

Speaking of postseason issues leading to a firing, Doc Rivers is now a free agent. Rivers couldn't get hte 76ers over the hump in the playoffs and a change needed to be made. Rivers, a former standout at Marquette, won an NBA championship with the Celtics back in 2008. 

Frank Vogel didn’t coach in 2022-23 but he led the L.A. Lakers to the 2019-20 NBA championship. He was also a six-year coach of the Pacers, guiding them to two Eastern Conference Finals berths. His Lakers teams did get progressively worse each of his three campaigns. 

If the Bucks go the assistant, the top candidate may be Chris Quinn. Quinn has assisted Erik Spolestra with the Heat since 2014. They combined to coach circles around the Bucks in the first round. That likely made an impression on Milwaukee leadership. 

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The Bucks reportedly are interested in current Clippers coach Tyronn Lue as well, though that could take draft picks and more to get that connection. The Suns could start a bidding way for Lue, too. 

When it comes to other candidates, they each have strengths, but also deterrents. 

Kenny Atkinson is considered one of the top minds when it comes to analytics and may get another shot. He was Budenholzer's assistant in Atlanta, for better or for worse. Former head coach and current Pelicans coaching advisor Mike D’Antoni should be on the shortlist. D’Antoni is a two-time NBA coach of the year with 16 seasons under his belt. Age (71) may be a deterrent, though the Bucks are clearly in a win-now mindset. 

Milwaukee has interviewed Trail Blazers assistant Scott Brooks and ESPN analyst Mark Jackson, but the feeling is the Bucks can do better. 

Former Bucks point guard Sam Cassell assisted Rivers in Philadelphia the last three seasons and has been considered a possible head coach candidate for a few years, though he has yet to land his first job. Coming home to Milwaukee makes sense on some level, though taking over a built-to-compete-for-titles-now team may not be ideal for a first-timer. 

The Field is led by promising young assistants who are likely going to be head coaches someday, but maybe not here with a title contender seeking experience. That includes Charles Lee, the top in-house candidate who is a prime interview candidate for other NBA vacancies this offseason, interviewing for the open gigs in Toronto and Detroit. Kevin Young is a top assistant for the Suns and is considered an up-and-comer in the Association. So, too, is David Adelman, son of former coach Rick Adelman. Steve Nash is in coaching rumor circles, though he has yet to interview for any vacancy and there doesn't appear to be much interest on either side for now. 

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About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.