Nearly two weeks after firing head coach Mike Budenholzer, the Milwaukee Bucks coaching search could go in an unusual direction with the possibility of trading for their next head coach.
Milwaukee’s search for its next head coach is ongoing, with NBA rumors pointing to a wide variety of coaching candidates on the Bucks’ radar. In addition to a top Golden State Warriors assistant, Milwaukee is also interested in recently-fired coach Monty Williams to replace Budenholzer.
- Tyronn Lue coaching record: 261-186 in the regular season, 52-33 in playoffs
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The Bucks and Phoenix Suns could potentially end up swapping coaches. Budenholzer is emerging as one of the early targets in Phoenix, leaving open the possibility of the two fired NBA coaches swapping positions. While Milwaukee is free to hire Williams following his termination, there is reportedly another possibility that would require a trade.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer, Los Angeles Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue is firmly on the Bucks’ coaching radar. There will likely be competition for him, though, with Marc Stein reporting that the Suns are also interested in Lue.
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- Tyronn Lue contract: 5 years, $7-plus million salary per season
However, Milwaukee and Phoenix would both face an uphill battle to land Lue. The 46-year-old was extremely successful in his third season with the Clippers, winning 44 games and proving competitive in the first round of the NBA playoffs despite injuries to Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.
The Clippers intend to keep George and Leonard, per Sportsnaut’s Mark Medina, making it far more unlikely that they are willing to engage in trade discussions involving Lue with other championship contenders.
There is precedent for coaching trades in the NBA. The Boston Celtics traded Doc Rivers to the Clippers in 2013, receiving a 2015 first-round pick in return.
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Lue is highly regarded around the NBA for his Xs and Os, with a reputation for being one of the best NBA coaches when it comes to making in-game adjustments and changes within a playoff series.
If the Clippers are willing to entertain a trade, the Bucks and Suns will likely have to engage in a bidding war with a high salary for Lue and significant draft-pick compensation for Los Angeles.
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