It has been nearly two years since Mike Budenholzer was named as the 2014-2015 NBA Coach of the Year. That doesn’t seem like a long stretch of time on the surface but, in the league, a lot can take place over nearly 24 months and that is certainly the case for the Atlanta Hawks. With that said, the good folks at ESPN have unveiled up-to-the-minute rankings for both head coaches and general managers/presidents. In Budenholzer’s case, that means he is evaluated twice.
From a coaching standpoint, Budenholzer comes in at No. 11 overall, landing between Cleveland’s Tyronn Lue (No. 10) and Memphis head coach David Fizdale (No. 12) on the list. At first blush, this seems (quite) low for Budenholzer, especially when considering a couple of names like Toronto’s Dwane Casey and Washington’s Scott Brooks are ahead of Budenholzer in the pecking order.
In the general manager rankings, Budenholzer and Wes Wilcox are treated less favorably. Atlanta lands at No. 15 overall on the list between Washington (Ernie Grunfeld) and Denver (Tim Connelly), leaving some uncertainty as to where the Hawks should actually rank.
Budenholzer is, at least in my estimation, comfortably a top-10 head coach in the NBA. In the same breath, there is some reason for concern with regard to the front office to the point where it becomes much harder to rank Atlanta with that level of confidence based on small sample, resources, timing and more.
In short, it is very hard to put together a list like this one with any sort of accuracy and there is plenty of room for debate here. What say you?