Analyst Predicts Major Lakers Coaching Change, Reveals Timeline

Frank Vogel

Getty Lakers head coach Frank Vogel is on the hot seat.

The buzz about the future of Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel continues to grow with several analysts noting that his days are likely numbered in L.A. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith made a strong statement about Vogel’s future, predicting the Lakers will make a change by the All-Star break.

“I expect the Lakers to fire Frank Vogel,” Smith noted during the December 3 edition of NBA Countdown. “I am not advocating it by any stretch of the imagination. I like Frank Vogel. Frank Vogel has been a top-notch defensive mind in the NBA. I think that he’s a champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, he’s already delivered that, and I think he deserves the opportunity to continue going forward.

“But these are the Lakers, this is Tinseltown. We’re looking at LeBron James, 36 ain’t getting any younger. We’re looking at Russell Westbrook, 32 ain’t getting any younger. We’re looking at Anthony Davis. We’ve got questions about chemistry. We’ve got questions about commitment and dedication. We damn sure got questions about their defense which has been ranked in the bottom-five throughout the season.

“And if you’re asking me the question, if this continues. Again, that’s the caveat, not right now, but if this continues, Frank Vogel, in my opinion, will not be the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers come All-Star break.”

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The Lakers Rank No. 29 in Points Allowed

To Smith’s point, the Lakers defense ranks next to last in the NBA allowing 113.4 points per game. The question of what will happen and what should happen regarding Vogel’s future may not be aligned. Vogel was handed a roster of oddly fitting superstar players and asked to make sense of it.

If the playoffs were to start today, the Lakers would once again be in the play-in tournament forced to compete for a postseason spot for the second straight year. The reality is simple, it is easier for the Lakers to change head coaches than find a reasonable deal for Russell Westbrook or make a trade that dramatically improves the team.

Like Vogel, Westbrook may be getting an unfair amount of criticism for the Lakers’ struggles. NBA insider Marc Stein cited the “lack of flexibility” on the Lakers roster as the main reason Vogel may not be long for Los Angeles.

“There is also rising buzz in coaching circles about the pressure mounting on Frank Vogel given the Lakers’ worrisome 10-10 start … given L.A.’s lack of flexibility to make roster changes,” Stein detailed on November 26.

There Is ‘Growing Chatter’ About Vogel’s Future With the Lakers

The Athletic’s Sam Amick cosigned Stein’s report about Vogel’s future, adding that there is “growing chatter” that the Lakers could make a change. Heading into the season, it was well-documented that the Lakers could move on from Vogel in 2022, but the Los Angeles head coach may not even have that luxury. Smith indicated the Lakers could be conducting a coaching search during All-Star Weekend.

“Only Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, general manager Rob Pelinka and trusted advisor Kurt Rambis likely know if Vogel is truly in trouble,” Amick explained on November 27. “OK, you could probably add LeBron James, Anthony Davis and their agent, Rich Paul, to that list, too. But there’s no clarity from this vantage point in terms of the organizational outlook on Vogel’s status.

“Still, it’s obvious and fair to ask about Vogel’s security at this juncture, based on both historical context and recent developments. For starters, there’s the age-old reality that any coach of a LeBron James team will face serious pressure whenever the results are falling short of the expectations.

“…As longtime NBA scribe Marc Stein first noted Thursday, there is indeed growing chatter in both coaching circles and the coaching agent world that Vogel needs to turn this around sooner rather than later. That’s never a foolproof indicator of what’s to come, but the Kings’ recent choice to fire Walton and promote Alvin Gentry reminded us that it shouldn’t be ignored either.

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