It’s been a while since the Los Angeles Lakers gave a contract extension to their head coach. Mike D’Antoni coached them for one 2013-14 season following Phil Jackson’s departure, Byron Scott coached for two full seasons after that before being let go, while Luke Walton had three full seasons before he was also let go. Now, the team has an opportunity to give Frank Vogel their first head coach extension in a while, as he will be entering the final year of his three-year contract in this upcoming 2021-22 season.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported while the Lakers were still in the playoffs that there were plans between the team’s front office and Frank Vogel to discuss an extension during this offseason (h/t Paul Kasabian of Bleacher Report). However, Kyle Goon of the OC Register reported on June 25th that some within the organization are “surprised” that an extension hasn’t been completed. The Lakers were eliminated from the playoffs by the Suns on June 3rd, now making it a full month since the Lakers’ offseason began.
It still hasn’t been reported by the media or announced by the team that Vogel has received an extension. A decent amount of change has already happened for the Lakers since the season ended, highlighted by the non-renewal of Nina Hsieh’s contract (head athletic trainer for the team), assistant coach Jason Kidd leaving to be the new Dallas Mavericks head coach, as well as his replacement David Fizdale joining Vogel’s staff.
Hopefully, Rob Pelinka, Jeanie Buss, and the rest of the Lakers’ front office are just focusing on more pressing decisions surrounding the above news while they probably know that they’re on the same page as Vogel in regards to his future with the team. This was evidenced at the team’s exit interviews, as Frank Vogel stated his desire to be a “Laker for life” while Rob Pelinka seemed to express confidence in the team and Vogel remaining in a partnership for a while.
Going back to the news regarding Kidd and the Mavs, the Lakers’ front office may know that there will be additional departures from the Lakers coaching staff as Kidd fills out his bench in Dallas. This may also connect to recent news regarding the Lakers interviewing Scott Brooks, as the team may be doing its due diligence as they expect the need to fill more empty positions as the offseason goes on. It’s definitely concerning that some within the organization are surprised it hasn’t happened yet, but maybe Vogel’s extension is being put on hold while the team navigates these more uncertain decisions.