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Report: Suns granted permission to interview Mike Budenholzer

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The Hawks will allow Budenholzer to meet with Suns officials as the team continues its search for a new coach.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Orlando Magic Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Put another name on the Suns’ list of coaching candidates.

According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Atlanta Hawks have granted head coach Mike Budenholzer permission to meet with Suns team officials regarding their coaching vacancy.

Budenholzer still has two years and $14 million left on his contract with the Hawks. It is unclear whether the Hawks would require compensation from the Suns if the Suns and Budenholzer agree on a contract. Would the Suns need to trade a draft pick or player to get the Hawks to release Bud? Expect that to be a consideration.

After being linked previously this week to Dan Majerle, David Fizdale and Jay Wright, this report is somewhat unexpected. Budenholzer is currently in place as Atlanta’s coach, and the Suns had not been rumored to be looking at current head coaches as part of their search.

In Wojnarowski’s story, he says Budenholzer will meet with the Suns “early next week,” as they continue to be the most buzzed-about team on the coaching market. Wojnarowski also notes that Budenhozler is an Arizona native. Budenholzer was born and went to high school in Holbrook, Arizona, which runs along the Hopi Indian Reservation in northeast Arizona. The Suns reportedly interviewed Budenholzer in 2008 before eventually hiring Terry Porter.

In a sign of his potential willingness to leave Atlanta, Budenholzer was linked to the Bucks’ opening last week, and refused to rule out moving on from the Hawks during exit interviews Wednesday.

The veteran coach certainly has more clout than most of the rumored Suns candidates, having led the Hawks to a 60-win season in 2014-15, winning NBA Coach of the Year in the process.