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Report: Bucks hiring Raptors assistant Griffin as coach after Nurse pulls out

Steve Russell / Toronto Star / Getty

The Milwaukee Bucks are finalizing a deal with Toronto Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin to be the franchise's next head coach, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Milwaukee landed on Griffin after fellow candidate Nick Nurse pulled out of the process, The Athletic's Shams Charania reports, citing sources.

Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo vouched for Griffin to be the team's choice, sources told NBA on TNT's Chris Haynes.

Griffin will be making his head coaching debut with the Bucks. The 48-year-old has been an assistant around the league since starting his coaching career in Milwaukee in 2008-09. He spent two seasons with the franchise on the staff of then-head coach Scott Skiles. Griffin also had stints with the Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic, and Oklahoma City Thunder before joining Nurse in Toronto ahead of their 2018-19 title-winning campaign.

Before becoming an assistant, Griffin carved out a nine-year NBA playing career as a journeyman wing, suiting up for the Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Bulls, and Seattle SuperSonics. He played 13 games with the SuperSonics in 2007-08 before moving behind the bench the following year.

His son, AJ Griffin, is coming off a rookie campaign with the Atlanta Hawks.

Griffin will succeed Mike Budenholzer, who won the Bucks' first championship in 50 years in 2021. However, Milwaukee made the conference finals just once in his four other seasons at the helm. The Bucks fired Budenholzer earlier in May after getting eliminated in five first-round games by the 8-seeded Miami Heat.

The Bucks reportedly narrowed their list of finalists for the vacancy to Griffin, Nurse, and Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson. Nurse is also apparently a candidate for the openings with the Phoenix Suns and Philadelphia 76ers.

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