It feels like it’s only a matter of time when it comes to the job security of Frank Vogel. It’s on record that he was their secondary choice to lead the franchise. Ty Lue and the team could not reportedly come to a deal with enough years to satisfy Lue’s pursuit. Vogel has won one championship and the remaining tenure has been marred by injuries and turnover.
The Lakers reportedly extended Vogel’s contract through the 2022-23 season, and nothing further. He’s turned in his worst year with the team at 31-47 through today. He was nearly canned after an early-season blowout to the Denver Nuggets. Ironically, the same Nuggets team all but ended their hopes of getting into the play-in tournament on Sunday.
Reports have surfaced that the Lakers and Vogel will finally go their separate ways once the year ends. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer had the report, and mentioned a few names linked to the job already, starting with Utah Jazz Head Coach Quin Snyder:
As Marc Stein first reported, Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder is perhaps most often mentioned by league figures as a possible Vogel replacement.
Snyder was on the team’s coaching staff during the 2011-12 season. As it relates to family ties, that’s at least one box he checks. This is all contingent on Snyder moving on from the Utah Jazz and passing over other perspective jobs, such as a possible Spurs head coach position should Gregg Popovich finally retire. Steve Clifford and Mike Brown are also rumored in Fischer’s report for possible future Lakers head coaching candidates. Brown still remains with the Golden State Warriors staff, while Clifford was last with the Orlando Magic in 2021.
The more interesting name was Philadelphia 76ers Head Coach Doc Rivers. Fischer went on to discuss his possible candidacy:
Doc Rivers, the Philadelphia 76ers’ head coach, is another active bench leader being mentioned by league personnel as a potential Lakers candidate. Rivers’ tenure in Philadelphia has also come into question of late, spurred by team president Daryl Morey’s deadline acquisition of James Harden and the mounting speculation that followed about a potential reunification with Harden’s former Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni.
Rivers also has some ties to the Lakers, though to a lesser extent. When Luke Walton was at the helm, it was rumored that Rivers would step across the hall from the Los Angeles Clippers, and take over once Walton parted ways. The Lakers are known for going back to the same well and drinking. They’ve cycled back through players all throughout their inception. In fact, Fischer also noted in his report that “it’s also widely believed that Los Angeles, as has been the franchise’s custom, will prioritize coaching candidates with past connections to the organization.”
It’s safe to say that the Lakers are not going after any new coaching blood. Rivers and Snyder bring a host of experience from their careers. It’s a strange set of circumstances as both are still very much successful and may make deep playoff runs depending on the next few weeks.
Leave it to the Lakers to get into the thick of more drama. At the very least, there’s change that appears to be in motion amidst this season of flurries.