At the conclusion of a disappointing 2018-19 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers and head coach Luke Walton mutually agreed to part ways with each other after three seasons.
It paved the way for a lengthy search to find his replacement — one that included a half-dozen worth of candidates. While the Lakers initially pinpointed Tyronn Lue and Monty Williams as their primary targets, they ultimately shifted to a broader pool of options that included Frank Vogel.
After making a strong impression in his interview, the Lakers eventually named Vogel the 27th head coach in franchise history. They supplemented him with a coaching staff that includes assistants Jason Kidd, Lionel Hollins, and Phil Handy.
Los Angeles additionally overhauled their roster over the 2019 NBA offseason, adding Anthony Davis in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans while signing the likes of Danny Green, Avery Bradley, and Dwight Howard in free agency.
With a goal of returning to championship contention, the Lakers received the third-most votes to win the 2020 NBA Finals by a group of anonymous general managers. They trail only the Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks in this regard.
The general managers also believe Vogel will make the second-biggest impact among new head coaches entering the 2019-20 NBA season, according to John Schuhmann of NBA.com:
Which new or relocated head coach will make the biggest impact on his new team?
1. Monty Williams, Phoenix — 43%
2. Frank Vogel, L.A. Lakers — 21%
3. Luke Walton, Sacramento — 18%
4. John Beilein, Cleveland — 11%
5. Taylor Jenkins, Memphis — 7%
Last year: N/A
Only Williams placed higher than Vogel, who was hired by the Phoenix Suns while the Lakers were in the process of narrowing down the field of candidates for their head coach vacancy.
After contract talks with Lue broke down, the Lakers quickly pivoted to Vogel, who most recently served as the Orlando Magic head coach in 2018.
While that tenure didn’t go so well, Vogel enjoyed varying degrees of success during his previous five-year stint as the Indiana Pacers head coach from 2011-16.
Vogel interestingly earned more votes than Walton, who finds himself in a similar situation from when he was first hired by the Lakers. Walton is now tasked with guiding the Sacramento Kings’ talented young core to playoff contention.
The list is rounded out by John Beilein and Taylor Jenkins, who are entering rebuilding phases with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Memphis Grizzlies, respectively.