Suns Hire Coach Mike Budenholzer on a Five-Year, $50+ Million Deal

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Phoenix Suns Hire Coach Mike Budenholzer on a Five-Year, $50+ Million Deal

The Phoenix Suns have hired Mike Budenholzer to become the franchise’s next head coach on a deal worth five years and at least $50 million, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

Budenholzer, 54, is expected to accompany the team to the 2024 NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, which begins this weekend, and work on assembling a coaching staff, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Suns fired Frank Vogel on Thursday after one season. Phoenix finished 49-33 in the regular season and was then swept by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

Budenholzer will become the Suns’ third head coach in three seasons. During that span, Phoenix owner Mat Ishbia also fired Monty Williams and Vogel in back-to-back years.

Vogel had four years and over $20 million left on his contract. The Suns are set to enter the offseason with $209 million in salary, the largest payroll of any NBA team. To make matters worse, the team faces a luxury tax penalty of $116 million.

The Suns’ Big Three — Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal — will earn a combined $150 million in the 2024-25 season, according to Spotrac. Durant is slated to make $49.85 million next season.

Booker will earn $49.35 million in 2024-25 as well. Beal is also projected to make $50.2 million next season. Beal is still owed $160 million. The salary of the three players is more than 14 teams’ total payroll in 2024-25.

Phoenix Suns coach Mike Budenholzer is 484-317 (.604) in the regular season, 56-48 (.538) in the playoffs across 10 seasons

Furthermore, the Suns traded four first-round picks (2023, 2025, 2027, and 2029), a 2028 first-round pick swap, and additional draft compensation to acquire Durant.

Entering the offseason, Phoenix is without a second-round pick from 2024 through 2030.

If there’s any coach who can help turn a star-stacked team with missing pieces into a title contender, it’s Budenholzer. In fact, he won the 2021 NBA Finals with the Milwaukee Bucks against his new team.

Budenholzer had a 271-120 (.693) record in five seasons in Milwaukee and a 213-197 (.520) record in his previous years with the Atlanta Hawks. He’s also a two-time NBA Coach of the Year, winning in the 2014-15 and 2018-19 seasons.

In the Bucks’ first season without Budenholzer since 2017-18, the 2023-24 Bucks went just 49-33 under Adrian Griffin (fired Jan. 23, 30-13 record) and Doc Rivers (17-19 record).

Milwaukee was eliminated in six games by the Indiana Pacers in its Eastern Conference first-round playoff series. In Budenholzer’s last season with the Bucks in 2022-23, the team finished 58-24 and lost in five first-round games to an eighth-seeded Miami Heat squad.

Phoenix could be a great fit for Budenholzer. After all, he was born and raised in Holbrook, Arizona. His late father also coached at the high school level in the Grand Canyon State.