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Report: Bucks narrow coaching search to three finalists

May 26, 2013, 7:00 PM EST

New Orleans Hornets v Houston Rockets Getty Images

Th Milwaukee Bucks are in the final stages of choosing their new head coach, and three candidates are expected to be brought in for second interviews next week, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

Hawks head coach Larry Drew, Rockets assistant coach Kelvin Sampson, and Lakers assistant coach Steve Clifford are the three finalists, and each has his strengths. While Drew has been an NBA head coach for the past three seasons, Sampson has a prior history with Milwaukee, and Clifford comes highly recommended.

Bucks general manager John Hammond has a stronger history with Sampson – who spent two years on the Milwaukee staff under Scott Skiles – but has been increasingly impressed with the possibilities with Clifford, sources said. Clifford has come strongly recommended by three former coaching colleagues that Hammond respects – Chicago’s Tom Thibodeau and Stan and Jeff Van Gundy.

We know where restricted free agent Brandon Jennings stands — he posted a picture of himself with Sampson from their time together when Sampson was a member of the Bucks’ staff, with a caption that read, “This my guy for Life. He needs to be a Head Coach in the NBA.”

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