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Report: Bucks narrow coaching search to three finalists

New Orleans Hornets v Houston Rockets

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 02: Rockets assistant coach Kelvin Sampson is seen prior to the start of the game between the New Orleans Hornets v Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on January 2, 2013 in Houston, Texas. 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 Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

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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.”