By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Atlanta Hawks will have a new head coach next season. Their coaching search will begin immediately.
The Hawks have mutually agreed to part ways with former head coach Mike Budenholzer on Wednesday night. He was the team’s head coach for the past five seasons.
Recently, he was being considered for the Phoenix Suns vacant head coaching job. After meeting with the Suns front office executives, along with owner Robert Sarver, for two days, he rejected their proposal to become their new head coach.
When he rejected the Suns, he had two seasons left on his contract. However, with his buyout, it is likely the Hawks and Budenholzer agreed to some type of buyout, as he begins to look for employment elsewhere.
The 48-year-old Budenholzer guided the Hawks to a 24-58 record this season. This was his worst record during his tenure in Atlanta, Ga.
Prior to this season, he guided the team to four straight playoff appearances. But with the Hawks rebuilding, it is going to be a while before they’re contending on a regular basis once again.
This season, the Hawks averaged 103.4 points per game. However, they gave up an average of 108.8 points.
Of the roster the Hawks used this past season, there was no standout players. Many of the players were either rookies or first-year guys, except for Dennis Schröder, Kent Bazemore, Miles Plumlee, Dewayne Dedmon, and Mike Muscala.
With one of the worst records, the Hawks will have an opportunity to have a high pick in June’s NBA draft. This could allow them — if they strike gold — to have a franchise player on their roster.
During the 2016-17 season, the Hawks lost in the first round. However, in the 2015-16 season, they lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Budenholzer took the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals to the Cavaliers, where they were swept in 2014-15.
In his first season in Atlanta during the 2013-14 season, Budenholzer took the team to the playoffs. They were eliminated in the first-round that season.
He was 213-197 in the regular season with the Hawks. However, in the playoffs, he was 17-22 with Atlanta.
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