Stotts could interview as early as Thursday or Friday

The Milwaukee Bucks, according to NBA coaching sources, requested permission Wednesday to interview Golden State Warriors assistant Terry Stotts for the Bucks' coaching vacancy.

Sources said that Stotts could interview as early as Thursday or Friday, with the Bucks still unable to get a firm commitment from leading candidate Flip Saunders.

After announcing in early May that Terry Porter would be back for the final year of his contract following a 30-52 season, Milwaukee unexpectedly fired Porter on June 22 to pursue Saunders and Doug Collins.

Collins has since asked out of the Bucks' search after initially showing serious interest, but Milwaukee has been waiting on an answer from Saunders after owner Herb Kohl made what sources describe as a "substantial" multiyear offer.

Saunders is believed to be waiting to see what happens in Detroit. He's widely considered a prime candidate to replace Larry Brown if Brown leaves the Pistons.

Kohl, though, has apparently grown impatient waiting for Saunders, who is scheduled to earn $5.5 million from the Timberwolves next season if he doesn't coach.

Upon firing Porter, Milwaukee let it be known that it was looking to hire a more experienced coach. The Bucks were hopeful of signing Saunders or Collins before the free-agent period began last Friday to help convince star guard Michael Redd to re-sign.

Stotts has only a season and a half of NBA head-coaching experience -- going 52-85 in Atlanta after replacing Lon Kruger just after Christmas in the 2002-03 season -- but does have a pre-existing relationship with Redd from his stint as a Bucks assistant under George Karl. Stotts is also said to be a Kohl favorite after spending four seasons in Milwaukee.

Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here. Also, click here to send a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.