Multiple reports of coach Mike Budenholzer being on the hot seat in Milwaukee date back to before the playoffs started. His team’s Game 5 collapse against Brooklyn, putting the Bucks down 3-2, cranked up the temperature.
If Budenholzer ultimately is out, could recently available Rick Carlisle be the next Bucks’ coach? That rumor has been floating around the league, reports Marc Stein of the New York Times.
Carlisle had two years left on his contract in Dallas, but there are five other coaching openings in the NBA and possibly more forthcoming. He'll easily land another job.
Rumblings about Milwaukee as a destination — IF the Bucks make a change — have been circulating for weeks.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 17, 2021
Carlisle, the 15-year president of the National Basketball Coaches Association, would never publicly discuss a job that is currently filled by another coach. More than violating an unwritten rule of the coaching profession, it goes against his ethos.
However, Carlisle would be an interesting fit if the Bucks’ position becomes available. First, Carlise has won a championship ring as a player (1986 Celtics) and coach (2011 Mavericks) — and that is exactly what the Bucks are chasing. Carlisle is one of the best Xs and Os minds in the game, and gets the most out of players by putting them in positions to succeed. Particularly on the defensive end. Considering Milwaukee GM Jon Horst doesn’t have a lot of roster flexibility going forward, the team needs a coach who can get more out of what they already have on the roster.
Whether he would take the job or not is a question only Carlise could answer. He could want some time off from the grind, and there are certainly other quality coaches available.
Carlisle also had a “simmering tension” with Luka Doncic, and that combined with GM Donnie Nelson leaving the organization may have pushed Carlisle into this decision. The Mavericks are already looking for a new GM, and it would be wise to let that person pick his own coach, meaning it may be a while before a new coach is hired in Dallas.
Doncic will have a say in who is the next coach, and he is a supporter of assistant coach Jamahl Mosley, reports Tim MacMahon at ESPN.
Luka Doncic is a strong supporter of Mavs assistant coach Jamahl Mosley. “He’s got the things that are needed for a head coach," Doncic said after Mosely's one-game fill-in for a win over the Knicks this season. "He can be the head coach, for sure.”
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) June 17, 2021
Dallas has a lot of work to do to build a roster around Doncic that can win a ring.
The Bucks seem closer (although they need more depth), and the answer to getting more out of that roster may have just walked out the door in Dallas.