Frank Vogel is entering the final year of his contract and his future with the Los Angeles Lakers beyond that is still a topic of conversation.
The Lakers have said that they are planning to extend Vogel this summer, although Kyle Goon of the O.C. Register reported some members of the organization are “surprised” about that.
While ESPN reported shortly after the season ended that the Lakers planned to engage Vogel on extension discussions, and most expect Vogel will return with a new deal before next season, it has surprised some within the organization that the coach hasn’t received that deal already.
Vogel made it clear he’d like to be a “Laker for life,” but declined to speak on his contract situation during his exit interview.
“I really just prefer those conversations to remain private,” Vogel said, per Silver Screen & Roll. “Obviously I love it here, I love this organization and hope to be a Laker for life. But all that stuff will play out in the right time and those conversations will remain private.”
Vogel is looking to become the first Lakers coach to ink an extension since Phil Jackson did in 2007.
Rob Pelinka: Frank Vogel ‘Strong Part’ of Future in LA
As mentioned above, the Lakers have said that they’ll be working on an extension for Vogel before the start of next season.
“Listen, Frank has done an outstanding job as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. To come into an organization and in his first year to help us achieve the ultimate goal is really incredible, and something that we are so grateful and appreciative of,” Pelinka told reporters. “This year I think he did everything he could to battle through some of the things that our team faced that we couldn’t control, and did the best he could in times of adversity to keep everybody together,” Pelinka said.
As much as some fans like to criticize Vogel, he has proven himself enough to warrant an extension. He led the Lakers to the NBA title in 2020 and still managed to keep the team afloat during an injury-riddled, unusual year.
Vogel’s defensive mindset has also changed the identity of the Lakers, with the team finishing as the No. 1 ranked defense. That was without Lebron James and Anthony Davis on the court for a good chunk of the season due to injuries.
Vogel Says Lakers Will Miss Assistant Coach Jason Kidd
The Lakers saw high-profile assistant coach Jason Kidd depart this week for ar head coaching opening with the Dallas Mavericks. Both Vogel and LeBron James responded to the news, knowing Kidd and his knowledge on the bench would be missed.
“Jason has been a big part of the culture we have built over the last two years and he will be missed,” Vogel said in a statement to ESPN. “But, I am thrilled for him to get the opportunity to be a head coach again! It’s well deserved!”
James had a similar sentiment on Kidd, who he valued for his basketball IQ.
“Damn I hate to lose JKidd man but damn I’m happy for him at the same time! Good luck Kidd!” James tweeted.
There’s a chance the Lakers could lose more of their staff to the Mavericks, with Kyle Goon reporting that it’s a possibility Kidd takes some of his former co-workers with him.