Nothing gives you job security quite like winning a championship in your first year as Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel can attest. Vogel signed a three-year deal with the Lakers in 2019 and is slated to head into the final season of his contract in 2021-22. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Lakers would like to ink Vogel to an extension this offseason with all signs pointing to the coach remaining in Los Angeles for the foreseeable future.
“The Lakers, I’m told, plan to initiate contract extension talks with Frank Vogel this offseason,” Wojnarowski explained on NBA Countdown. “Now remember, he initially signed a three-year deal as Lakers coach, won the championship last year. And then here in his second year, without Anthony Davis and LeBron James for a combined 54 games, they’re first in the league in defensive efficiency. So, once this season is over they’re planning to start discussions on extending Vogel’s deal.”
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Ty Lue Turned Down the Lakers Job Because It Was an Offer for a 3-Year Deal
It was a process for the Lakers to offer Vogel the head coaching job as the team also showed an interest in other candidates. Had the Lakers’ offer to Ty Lue been for more years, fans could be looking at a different head coach instead of Vogel. Wojnarowski noted that Lue wanted a longer deal than the Lakers were willing to offer and ultimately ended up with the rival Clippers.
“It was [a sticking point], Ty Lue, Monty Williams, were both coaches the Lakers had talked to,” Wojnarowski added. “You know, Monty Williams took that Phoenix job, and Ty Lue decided to go to the Clippers as an assistant. Now, they’re all in the West. They’re all going to be formidable teams in the playoffs. Frank Vogel took that three-year deal and winning that championship in his first year certainly set himself up now to move forward.”
James Called Vogel the Lakers’ ‘Anchor’
If the Lakers are talking about extending Vogel, it is clear the coach has LeBron James’ seal of approval. As we have seen throughout James’ career, the superstar has a lot of sway with front offices on who coaches the team. Last September, James referred to Vogel as the “anchor” of the Lakers as he praised the head coach.
“He’s just always been the anchor, and our coaching staff has been right behind him,” James said at the time, per USA Today. “I can’t say anything more than that. Just happy to be on the floor to kind of be his coach on the floor and just command to my teammates the same message that he’s given to me and be an extension of his mind. It’s been great.”
The Lakers are heading into a decisive offseason with several key players set to hit free agency including Dennis Schroder, Alex Caruso and Talen Horton-Tucker. All indications are the Lakers want to retain all three players, and it sounds like the team is also on the verge of solidifying Vogel for the long term. Vogel’s contract extension should be painless, but the Lakers will have much more competition to retain their free agents.