Making Sense of the Latest Rumors from the Milwaukee Bucks' Coaching Search

Greg Swartz@@CavsGregBRCleveland Cavaliers Lead WriterMay 13, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 27:  Head coach Jerry Sloan of the Utah Jazz reacts in the first half against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on April 27, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks' search for a new head coach continues, as a new name has been added to an already growing list.

According to a report from, former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan has met with the Bucks about their vacancy, and he "is being seriously considered."

According to Yahoo! Sports, Sloan joins a potential list of candidates that includes former Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan, Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Steve Clifford and current Houston Rockets assistant coaches J.B. Bickerstaff and Kelvin Sampson.  McMillan, Bickerstaff and Sampson have already interviewed with the club.

This list could continue to grow, as it is believed that former Miami Heat and Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy could also be a hot target for the Bucks. Yahoo! Sports writer Adrian Wojnarowski has stated that Van Gundy could be the franchise's top target due to his defensive mentality and locker room discipline.

When looking at all the current and hopeful candidates, a few especially stand out.


Jerry Sloan

Sloan is the latest, and biggest, name to be added to to the Bucks list.

The 71-year-old coach resigned from the Jazz in 2011 after a 23-year run.  He led the Jazz to 1,127 wins during his tenure in Utah.

If the Bucks do indeed sign Sloan, he would become the oldest head coach in NBA history when he turns 72 next March. One has to wonder how many years he would even want to coach into the future, given the day-to-day grind and travel that an NBA season provides. 

At this point in his career, Sloan may be best slated for a front-office role, one that would be less tiresome on his body yet still utilize his great basketball mind.

Milwaukee is a young team whose best players (if they return) are 27-year-old Monta Ellis and 23-year-old Brandon Jennings. Does Sloan still have the energy to command an NBA locker room and hold the attention of players who grew up watching him coach on TV?

Sloan is a big name, but he isn't the best bet for a young Bucks team.


Stan Van Gundy

No offense to the assistants on this list, but a proven coach like Van Gundy would give the Bucks their best chance to win now.

Building off a 38-44 season that saw them sneak into the Eastern Conference playoffs, the Bucks have a solid foundation to build on for the future. For this reason, Van Gundy may have interest in Milwaukee over other jobs that look to be a complete rebuild project like the Charlotte Bobcats or Detroit Pistons.

Van Gundy holds a career record of 371-208, good for a winning percentage of .641. He's taken on a young team in Orlando before and led them to the NBA Finals. 

Milwaukee is also home to one his former sharpshooters, J.J. Redick, whom the Bucks may re-sign. If the Bucks could land a more effective offensive post player to open up shots on the perimeter, this would truly be an attractive job for Van Gundy.

The Bucks and Van Gundy could be a very nice fit, but one other head-coaching candidate no one is talking about would be even better.


Byron Scott

After spending the last three seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Scott could immediately jump back into coaching and not even have to leave the Central Division.

While his name is yet to surface as a serious candidate, Scott with the Bucks makes sense in a lot of ways.

First is his work with young point guards.  Kyrie Irving, the Cavaliers All-Star point guard, called Scott his "basketball father" and gave his first head coach much of the credit for his quick development.

Scott also helped mentor Chris Paul with the New Orleans Hornets and Jason Kidd while with the New Jersey Nets.  Scott led Kidd and the Nets to two NBA Finals appearances and won NBA Coach of the Year with the Hornets in 2007-08.

Jennings (if re-signed) would thrive under a coach like Scott, like many of the game's best point guards have before him.

He may also have a bit of a chip on his shoulder. He stated in an interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he felt he didn't get a "fair shake" while with the Cavs. He has a point, too, as Cleveland wasn't expected to be a contender until as early as next season while going through their own rebuilding process.

What better way to get back into coaching than to take over a team that plays the Cavs four times every year?

Scott should definitely be a candidate for the Bucks job and could even be considered the favorite if Van Gundy isn't interested.