The Suns Have Hired Mike Budenholzer On A 5-Year, $50 Million Deal

The Phoenix Suns will turn to former Bucks and Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer to try and turn them into contenders next season, as the two sides agreed to a new $50 million contract that runs for five years, per Shams Charania.

When word broke that Frank Vogel had been fired after one season with the Suns on Thursday, Budenholzer’s name was immediately mentioned as Phoenix’s top candidate. From a track record standpoint, Budenholzer makes plenty of sense for a Suns team that expects to be a contender. His Bucks and Hawks teams were regularly near the top of the East standings, and he finally got over the hump with Milwaukee in 2021, beating the Suns in the Finals. For his career, Budenholzer has a 484-317 record in the regular season and a 56-48 record in the playoffs.

That said, there are stylistic concerns that are going to be fascinating to watch play out. Budenholzer has always preached rim pressure and three-point shooting, with his teams falling in the top-8 in the NBA in three-point attempts in all but one season (2016-17 Hawks, 16th) of his head coaching career. The Suns were 25th in three-point attempts, and that was not due to a coaching mandate to fire away from the midrange. Kevin Durant and Devin Booker are two of the highest volume midrange shooters in the league (and, to their credit, two of the best at making them), but how Budenholzer adapts his system to his new star trio will be very interesting to watch.

On top of that, the Suns roster likely won’t look all that different next year, with a new group of vet minimum signings around their star trio and others like Grayson Allen and Jusuf Nurkic that are under contract. Crafting a plan to get more out of that group will be the expectation of Bud, but whether that can be done to the level Phoenix hopes remains to be seen.