The Milwaukee Bucks have identified their next head coach. After conducting a search that lasted several weeks, the Bucks have decided to hire Toronto Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The two sides are progressing on the terms of the agreement.
Griffin began his NBA coaching career in Milwaukee where he served as an assistant from 2008 to 2010. Since then he has spent time as an assistant with the Chicago Bulls (2010-2015), Orlando Magic (2015-2016), Oklahoma City Thunder (2015-2018) and Toronto Raptors (2018-2023). He also played nine seasons in the league from 1999 to 2008. Griffin clearly has ample experience as an assistant, and now he will get an opportunity to be the head shot-caller for the first time.
Milwaukee parted ways with coach Mike Budenholzer earlier this month after the Bucks were upset in the first round of the playoffs as the top seed by the Miami Heat. Budenholzer coached the Bucks for five seasons and led the team to its first championship in 50 years in 2021. Walking away from Budenholzer just two years after that title team shows that the pressure will be on Griffin to quickly achieve some postseason success while two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is still at the peak of his powers. For what it's worth, Antetokounmpo "vouched" for Griffin to become the team's next head coach, according to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report.
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With their new coach selected, the Bucks will now have to turn their focus to free agency where they have a couple of major decisions to make. Brook Lopez will be an unrestricted free agent, and Khris Middleton has a player option for next season that he could turn down in favor of unrestricted free agency. Those guys have been central to Milwaukee's success in recent years, but both are aging players, so the Bucks will have to decide if they want to bring them both back, or potentially go in a different direction. These decisions will have an enormous impact on the roster that Griffin will have to work with next season, and beyond.