Adrian Griffin will be the new coach of the Milwaukee Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks are finalizing a deal to sign Adrian Griffin as head coach after spending the last five seasons as an assistant with the Toronto Raptors, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Saturday.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they have not completed the agreement.

Griffin will replace Mike Budenholzer, who was fired this month after the top seeds lost in the first round of the postseason to the Miami Heat.

Griffin was an assistant on the Toronto team of Nick Nurse, who was fired last month at the end of the Raptors’ season. Griffin was an assistant on the 2019 NBA champion team that beat the Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals.

ESPN and The Athletic first reported that the Bucks had selected Griffin.

His hiring means Griffin will return to where he began his coaching career.

The 48-year-old coach was an assistant for Milwaukee from 2008-2010 under Scott Skiles. Griffin came to the team after nine years as an NBA player in which he was part of the Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls and Seattle SuperSonics.

He was also an assistant with Chicago, Orlando and Oklahoma City before joining Toronto.

Griffin will have the afternoon to ensure the Bucks advance in the postseason because they possibly have a short window to win the championship.

Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo has two years, plus a player option for the 2025-26 season, remaining on his super-max contract he signed in December 2020. Antetokounmpo is eligible for a September extension.

Budenholzer had the league’s best regular-season record through five 271-120 seasons and coached the team that won its first title since 1971 in 2021. But outside of that year, the Bucks failed to translate their regular-season success to the playoffs.

The Bucks had a league-best 58-24 record this season, but lost to the Heat 4-1 in the first round of the playoffs.

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