NBA Rumor: Mike Budenholzer Hot Seat?

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Milwaukee a possible destination for Rick Carlisle?

Marc Stein: 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.

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Some of those NBA officials are now wondering whether Budenholzer’s time in Milwaukee is about to expire – especially if the Bucks don’t make a deep playoff run. “Bud knows the situation he’s in,’’ an NBA executive, who knows Budenholzer, said. “There’s a lot of pressure on him, no doubt. He didn’t do so good in the playoffs the last two seasons even with maybe the best player in the league (Giannis). “Now, that they got Holiday. They gave up a fortune for him. So, he’s feeling the heat. I think they have to get to the Finals for him to keep his job.’’ Another NBA official echoes those comments, saying, “He’s on the hot seat. He has to win big in the playoffs. This is a tough business; it’s a bottom-line business.’’

In the weeks that followed the loss to the Heat, when the Bucks were convincing Giannis Antetokounmpo to sign his supermax extension while dissecting their own demise at the same time, sources say there was a great deal of frustration aimed at Budenholzer that hasn’t been forgotten. The perceived lack of adjustments was a focal point, with Budenholzer himself admitting that coaching mistakes had been made along the way. Yet from ownership on down, there was an acknowledgment that the uniqueness of the environment had made it extremely hard to evaluate the true meaning of it all.

Budenholzer has now lost eight out of nine playoff games against teams with winning records. As this series played out, coaches, scouts and executives around the league hit on the same point: The Raptors and Heat simply asked more questions than the Bucks could answer, and Budenholzer refused to pivot. “In the NBA, you have to have the ability to build foundation and build habits and build fundamentals, which Milwaukee does,” an NBA assistant coach said. “But you have to have versatility and different gears you can get to as part of your fundamentals to beat good teams. “I don’t think Milwaukee has that, and Bud never did that in Atlanta either. It’s always been, ‘We do what we do.'”
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June 20, 2021 | 8:42 am EDT Update
And the Nets could engage in sign-and-trade talks using Spencer Dinwiddie. Reportedly, the Nets were engaged in talks at the deadline with the Warriors that would have sent the point guard to Golden State for Kelly Oubre and to Los Angeles and the Lakers for Kyle Kuzma. Per Bobby Marks in an ESPN+ analysis Sunday morning… A sign-and-trade deal with a team that doesn’t have significant cap space is an option, but that would require Brooklyn to take back salary in the trade, adding to an already high luxury tax bill. Brooklyn has a projected $53.4 million tax bill and would see that number double if the Nets took back $12 million in salary.
While on the NBA matter, the 55-year-old Efes coach also addressed the rumor mill surrounding EuroLeague MVP Vasilije Micic as well as the upcoming departure of Sertac Sanli to Barcelona. “There are a lot of candidates for the NBA, especially Vasilije Micic, but we are doing everything we can to keep them. While we were worried about Micic, Sertac Sanli’s transfer to Barcelona came out. He’s talking very seriously right now. Although, during our last visit, President Ergodan also warned him. He said, ‘what would you do there? Why would you leave the champions for the runner-ups?”. I’m saying the same thing.”
There’s a lot of big-time talent and big-time teams at home or on vacation. The Bucks are still here. “There were a lot of ups and downs within the series. There were a lot of ups and downs in this game. Everybody fought extremely hard,” Antetokounmpo said. “I almost got emotional out there, we really wanted this.” You don’t always stride down the aisle to a championship coronation. Sometimes you beat the other guy by the toe of their Nikes.
For Lopez, that final stop meant the team erased a blunder he made at the end of regulation where he forgot that there were only 2.1 seconds left on the shot clock with 8.1 seconds remaining. By failing to take a shot, the Bucks came up with an empty possession and gave the Nets a chance to tie or win the game, which Durant managed to do by forcing overtime. Despite the mistake, Lopez remained determined to pull out a victory. “After that happened, I just took it upon myself,” Lopez said. “I told my teammates, ‘I made a mistake, but let’s go get this.’ I’m gonna fix this, we’re gonna fix this and so it happened, but it was great to see how resilient we were.”