Phoenix Suns Hire Mike Budenholzer as New Coach on 5-Year,$50 Million Deal

The Phoenix Suns have agreed to a five-year, $50 million contract with Mike Budenholzer as their new head coach, replacing Frank Vogel. Budenholzer, a two-time NBA Coach of the Year, will be tasked with optimizing the team's "Big 3" and addressing roster needs.

author-image
Aqsa Younas Rana
New Update
Phoenix Suns Hire Mike Budenholzer as New Coach on 5-Year,$50 Million Deal

Phoenix Suns Hire Mike Budenholzer as New Coach on 5-Year,$50 Million Deal

The Phoenix Suns have agreed to terms with Mike Budenholzer as their new head coach, replacing Frank Vogel after just one season. The five-year contract is worth over $50 million, making Budenholzer the fifth-highest paid coach in the NBA by average annual value.

Budenholzer, 54, is a two-time NBA Coach of the Year with a 484-317 record over 10 seasons. He previously coached the Milwaukee Bucks, leading them to victory over the Suns in the 2021 NBA Finals. The Suns dismissed Vogel on Thursday after a 49-33 regular season and a first-round playoff sweep by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

As an Arizona native who grew up in Holbrook, Budenholzer has a strong connection to the Suns. At the start of the 2021 Finals in Phoenix, he said, "If it's not [the Al McCoy room], I want to spend some time there. I listened to him on the TV and radio – great, fond memories of watching the Suns and Walter Davis and Paul Westphal, and you can go on and on."

Budenholzer will be tasked with optimizing the Suns' "Big 3" of Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, and Bradley Beal, who failed to mesh under Vogel. The team's roster needs work, with a lack of a true point guard, defensive stoppers, and depth. Addressing the Suns' top-heavy salary structure will also be a challenge.

Before becoming a head coach, Budenholzer was a longtime assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs under Gregg Popovich, winning four championships. His father, Vince, was a successful high school basketball coach in Arizona, winning over 300 games and a state championship in 1971.

The Suns have a huge payroll and will be a luxury tax-paying team in 2024-25, with championship expectations. President of basketball operations James Jones emphasized the need for a coach who can capitalize on the team's narrow window with its talented offensive players. Budenholzer's experience coaching stars and his strong offensive background make him well-suited for the challenge ahead in Phoenix.