The Los Angeles Lakers made the hiring of head coach Frank Vogel official, announcing that he will be the team’s 27th head coach for the 2019-20 NBA season.
Although terms of the agreement were not released, both sides reportedly agreed on a three-year deal.
Vogel spent five full seasons with the Indiana Pacers from the 2011-16 seasons, making the playoffs in four out of those five seasons. In two of those seasons, Vogel’s Pacers made runs to the Eastern Conference Finals where they were eliminated by LeBron James and the Miami Heat both times.
More recently, Vogel had an unsuccessful two-year tenure with the Orlando Magic, boasting a record of 54-110. However, the Magic traded Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris, Ersan Ilyasova, and Domantas Sabonis for Brandon Jennings, Serge Ibaka, and cap space used to sign Bismack Biyombo — meaning Vogel was almost set up to fail.
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka released the following statement about the addition of Vogel.
“We are excited to add Frank Vogel as the next head coach of the Lakers,” said Pelinka. “Coach Vogel has a proven track record of success in the NBA Playoffs, and he reflects the core qualities we were looking for in a head coach – including, detailed game preparation, extreme hard work, and holding players accountable to the highest basketball standards.”
Vogel’s Pacers ranked in the top-10 in defensive rating every season of his tenure, including two first-place rankings in their conference finals appearances and a third-place ranking in his final season.
In addition, Vogel led the Pacers to their best season in franchise history when they went 56-26 during the 2013-14 season, earning them the East’s first overall seed.
For Vogel — who did not coach during the 2018-19 season — expressed excitement about this latest opportunity to coach James and the young core.
“I am very excited for this opportunity to join the Lakers, a prestigious organization that I have long admired,” said Vogel. “I look forward to coaching such phenomenal talent and bringing my strategic vision to the team.”
While the Lakers have not held a press conference since former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson’s resignation, they have an opportunity to improve their roster.
Heading into Year 2, Los Angeles will have an unexpected lottery pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and a project $38 million in cap space for free agency. Since the goal remains landing a second All-Star player alongside James, Vogel could potentially be coaching a championship contender.
Vogel’s introductory press conference will be held Monday, May 20.