Report: Milwaukee Bucks, ex-Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer agree to deal

Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer gestures during the second half of the team's game against the Washington Wizards in Washington on April 6. The Milwaukee Bucks have reportedly agreed to hire Budenholzer as their next head coach, a person who requested anonymity said. (AP file photo)

A person familiar with the search tells The Associated Press that the Milwaukee Bucks have reached an agreement with Mike Budenholzer to become the team’s next coach.

The 2015 NBA Coach of the Year will replace Joe Prunty, the former assistant who went 21-16 in the regular season after replacing the fired Jason Kidd in late January.

The person confirmed the agreement with the former Atlanta Hawks coach on Wednesday. The person requested anonymity because the team has not made an official announcement.

The deal was first reported by ESPN.

The Bucks lost to Boston in seven games in the first round of the playoffs.

Budenholzer went 213-197 in five seasons with the Hawks, leading them to a franchise-record 60 wins and the Eastern Conference finals in 2015. He and the Hawks mutually agreed to part ways last month with two years remaining on his contract, allowing Budenholzer to pursue other opportunities.

The one with the Bucks may have been the best available, thanks to All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and a new arena next season.

“There’s a massive amount of excitement around this team, because of the arena right there, because of this facility, because or our team,” general manager Jon Horst said recently from the Bucks’ training facility located across the street from the new arena.

The Bucks took a small step forward this season after winning 44 games, two better than last year.

Before choosing Budenholzer, the Bucks also considered Spurs assistant Becky Hammon, who would have been the first woman to coach an NBA team, and interviewed former Cavaliers coach David Blatt, former Hornets coach Steve Clifford, and current Spurs vice president and former Pelicans coach Monty Williams.