As the Los Angeles Lakers head toward the disappointing fate of missing the playoffs, it doesn’t come as a surprise to hear that head coach Frank Vogel will lose his job. Instead, the shocking part is that he will keep the position all the way through the rest of the season.
Although the team’s underperformance and injury struggles are out of his control, the Lakers need a fresh restart beyond a roster reconstruction to push them forward.
That places the crucial task at the desk of general manager Rob Pelinka to make the right hire that gets the franchise out of the mess he helped create. Here are three early candidates the Lakers will consider to replace Frank Vogel.
Over the last several weeks, the longtime Utah Jazz head coach remains linked to the Lakers. Snyder previously served as an assistant coach for the 2011-12 season on Mike Brown’s staff. Since then, he has turned the Jazz into a playoff constant, with postseason berths in what will be the last six consecutive years.
Although the Jazz haven’t moved past the second round under Snyder, he has brought significant stability. Last month he shot down any discussion regarding the Lakers rumors.
“To be honest, having to address this type of question in any form, in my view, is disrespectful to the teams that are mentioned themselves,” Snyder said via Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune. “I think specifically, these types of discussions are also disrespectful to coaches. And I love the guys that I coach. I love these players. And frankly, my focus is on our guys and our team. And as I said, addressing hypotheticals in these types of questions in any form I feel like is disrespectful. And that’s how I would characterize that.”
Snyder’s name cropping up as a possible candidate is due to his contract situation. He inked an extension in 2019, but how many years he has left on his deal remains unclear. Meanwhile, reports indicated that the Jazz have been unsuccessful in signing him to a new contract.
The Lakers want to hire an experienced coach, and Snyder more than fits that bill.
In Rivers’ brief stint with the Philadelphia 76ers, he has experienced plenty. He worked through the Ben Simmons ordeal before the front office acquired James Harden. The pressure is on him to help guide the franchise toward NBA title contention.
Rivers has brought much-needed stability, but the 76ers now hold firm championship expectations with Harden and MVP candidate Joel Embiid leading the charge. Anything short of an Eastern Conference Finals appearance will be a significant letdown.
Philadelphia may also consider a coaching change to secure Harden’s long-term future. According to Bleacher Report‘s Jake Fischer, team president Daryl Morey may look into bringing aboard Mike D’Antoni to reunite him with the star guard. If the 76ers head that route, expect the Lakers to seriously consider Rivers as a head coach candidate.
He has a proven resume with plenty of experience leading a veteran-laden roster headlined by star talent.
Yes, Lakers fans still have a sour taste in their mouth from Brown’s previous stint with the franchise. It’s hard to forget his sudden departure just five games into his second season. Remember the Princeton offense?
Brown is linked to Los Angeles as he was named as part of Fischer’s report on Frank Vogel’s job status. He likely sits at the bottom of the list among these three potential head coach options. Brown hasn’t actively pushed for another head coaching gig, as he’s comfortably seated as part of the Golden State Warriors assistant coach staff under Steve Kerr for nearly the last six years.
He holds previous experience coaching LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but that may not be a pairing the star forward wants to explore again. If nothing else, Brown is an option.