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#pounditSaturday, June 22, 2024

Suns hire ex-NBA champion as new head coach

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The Phoenix Suns fired Frank Vogel on Thursday, and it appears they already had a replacement lined up when they made the move.

Mike Budenholzer will be named the next head coach of the Suns, according to a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic. Phoenix is expected to make Budenholzer one of the highest-paid coaches in the NBA.

Immediately after the Suns fired Vogel, reports surfaced that Budenholzer was their top target. The 54-year-old had been drawing interest from multiple teams after he took a year off from coaching last season.

Budenholzer is from Arizona, which is likely one reason the Suns job appeals to him. He will also have an opportunity to contend for a championship right away with a core of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal.

Budenholzer last coached the Milwaukee Bucks from 2018-2023. He won a championship with the team in 2021. He coached the Atlanta Hawks for five seasons before that.

Another prominent Western Conference team was also expected to pursue Budenholzer.

The Suns went 49-33 in their lone season under Vogel and were swept by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the opening round of the playoffs. There has been talk of them potentially trading a star player this offseason, but they are more likely to build out their bench and hope Budenholzer can get more from their Big Three than Vogel did.

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