Lakers Rumors: Mike Budenholzer To Be Hired As Suns Head Coach
Mike Budenholzer
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers’ offseason is going to be an eventful one as major changes to the roster are expected to come after standing pat at the NBA trade deadline came back to bite them.

The Lakers bowed out of the first round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs, which led to former head coach Darvin Ham and his coaching staff being fired. Now, Los Angeles will engage in its second head coaching search in the past three seasons.

There were several candidates that were linked to the Lakers’ head coaching job, including former Milwaukee Bucks assistant Charless Lee, who agreed to become the Charlotte Hornets’ new head coach. While Lee was an intriguing candidate, there are still multiple veteran head coaches on the market for L.A. to choose from.

One popular name is former Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer, who is reportedly being hired for the Phoenix Suns job after they dismissed Frank Vogel, via Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Budenholzer was let go by Milwaukee one year after he led the franchise to a championship in 2021 and has since sat out the hiring cycle until now. While Budenholzer’s tenure with the Bucks didn’t end well, he’s still held in high regard around the league and seems poised to get his next shot.

Interestingly enough, if Budenholzer is assembling his coaching staff then Ham is likely to be on his short list given their time together with the Atlanta Hawks and Bucks. Ham is expected to be a head coaching candidate again in the future, so being on a team’s bench would bolster his case.

Regardless, it looks like Budenholzer will be off the Lakers’ radar, which will allow them to focus on other candidates. Names like Kenny Atkinson and JJ Redick have to be considered more seriously, though the team is likely still holding out hope that Tyronn Lue somehow becomes available.

Evaluating Mike Budenholzer as potential Lakers head coach

If the Suns and Budenholzer are unable to come to terms on a deal, he would rocket back up the list of potential options for Los Angeles. When evaluating Budenholzer, he’s well-regarded for his defensive schemes though he has a hard time with adjustments.

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