The Milwaukee Bucks have undergone a head-coaching search since their first-round playoff exit against the Miami Heat over a month ago, which led to the organization finding its replacement for Mike Budenholzer.
The Bucks are set to name Adrian Griffin, who spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors, as their next head coach, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. All that’s stopping the move from being official is the two sides reaching an agreement on the financial terms of Griffin’s contract.
Griffin, 48, is familiar with Milwaukee. At the end of his 10-year playing career, which began with a two-season stint playing for the Boston Celtics, the Bucks gave Griffin his first coaching gig, hiring him as an assistant in 2008.
Milwaukee led the charge in showing some of the NBA’s most notable head coaches the door following disappointing playoff finishes. The Bucks finished the regular season as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference — two years removed from their NBA Finals win — but fell in disappointing fashion to the No. 8 Heat, leading to the end of Budenholzer’s run in Milwaukee.
Soon after, the Phoenix Suns and Philadelphia 76ers followed Milwaukee’s lead by firing Monty Williams and Doc Rivers after their respective postseason eliminations. Williams and Rivers both led their now-former teams to top-3 finishes at the helm this past season before being dismissed.
Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo co-signed the move, vouching for Griffin, per Chris Haynes of TNT.
Spending the last four seasons working under recently fired head coach Nick Nurse in Toronto, Griffin is plenty familiar with the landscape of not just the East, but the highly-competitive Atlantic Division.