Last summer, the Los Angeles Lakers chose to part ways with head coach Frank Vogel after three seasons. Vogel had led the team to the 2020 NBA Championship, but following back-to-back disappointing seasons that were plagued by injuries, the Lakers chose to go in another direction, ultimately hiring Darvin Ham.
Vogel spent a year away from the game following his dismissal from the Lakers, but it was always known that he would eventually come back, especially with his championship experience and excellent overall record. This offseason, a number of very intriguing jobs opened up and Vogel has landed one of the premier ones.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Vogel is finalizing a long-term deal to become the new head coach of the Phoenix Suns:
BREAKING: The Suns are planning to hire Frank Vogel as the franchise’s next coach, sources tell ESPN. Sides are starting work on a long-term deal. Vogel brings with him a 2020 NBA title and history of constructing high-level defenses. pic.twitter.com/csF6bO8Bp7
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 2, 2023
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Vogel’s deal with Phoenix will be a five-year contract worth over $30 million:
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 2, 2023
This is well-deserved for Vogel, who has proven himself to be an excellent coach over the years. He led the Indiana Pacers to back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals appearances in 2013 and 2014 and also had a stint with the Orlando Magic before taking over the Lakers in 2019.
He had immediate success in constructing an outstanding defensive identity around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The Lakers were championship favorites all season long and would hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the bubble in 2020. The success continued the following season with what looked to be an upgraded roster until injuries ravaged the Lakers and they fell in the first round of the 2021 playoffs to Vogel’s new team in Phoenix.
Now, Vogel has a new opportunity to build around one of the best duos in the NBA in Kevin Durant and Devin Booker in Phoenix. After leading the Lakers to a championship, Vogel now becomes a division rival looking to down his former team.
Spurs considered dark horse to poach Lakers’ Austin Reaves
One of the few bright spots in Frank Vogel’s final year with the Lakers was the emergence of undrafted guard Austin Reaves. In his second season, Reaves showed immense growth and was one of the most consistent players on the Lakers, and now is set to cash in as he enters restricted free agency.
While the Lakers are expected to match any offer he receives there are some teams that remain interested in pursuing him and recent reports listed the San Antonio Spurs as a potential dark horse team to try and pry him from the Lakers.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!