After being rejected by Ty Lue and Monty Williams, the Lakers have had to resort to their second set of options to fill Luke Walton’s seat on their bench. One of the names mentioned was Frank Vogel, former Orlando Magic and Indianapolis Pacers head coach. Vogel has been out of a job the past year after Orlando fired him, but Adrian Wojnarowski reports Vogel made a strong impression in his first interview with the Lakers, and the team will be following up with the veteran coach.
Vogel has a solid resume from his Pacers days, coming as close as anyone from the Eastern Conference to taking down LeBron James and the Heatles. His time in Orlando was forgettable, to say the least, and resulted in his firing at the end of the 2018 season.
Vogel would be an interesting choice for LA. The last time we saw him coach meaningful basketball, he was still rolling with Roy Hibbert as his center. His place in today’s pace and space game seems up in the air. His time in Orlando indicated he isn’t particularly prolific at developing young players, an important quality for a coach that may end up needing Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, and Brandon Ingram to contribute rather quickly.
To his credit, Vogel got the absolute most out of a surprise Indiana team up against the premier super team in the league at the time, and his players seemed to rally around him. With a year to take a step back, he may end up altering his schemes to fit the modern NBA. From an outside perspective, he’s a relatively safe hire with the veteran experience to control the locker room and appropriately cater to LeBron. How far he can take this team is the real question, and one that’s impossible to answer until October of next year.