The Los Angeles Lakers unceremoniously dumped Frank Vogel before the body of their season was even cold on Sunday night, but just because that news was fired off almost as quickly as humanly possible, don’t expect to hear about Vogel’s replacement for a little while.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the team is going to take their time before naming their next head coach:
The Lakers’ search for his replacement is expected to be expansive and lengthy — without a clear-cut frontrunner, sources said.
This is, in part, par for the course with how the Lakers do business. When Mike D’Antoni stepped down, they waited four months (and three job interviews) before hiring Byron Scott. They only waited five days between firing Scott and hiring Luke Walton, but when they let Walton go, it took almost a month before they agreed to terms with Vogel after a wide-ranging coaching search that saw them nearly hire Tyronn Lue and Monty Williams. That last hiring process was the only one conducted by the current brain trust of team governor Jeanie Buss, director of special projects Linda Rambis, senior basketball advisor Kurt Rambis, and general manager Rob Pelinka, so it may be most indicative here.
But that semi-pattern aside, there is also the reality that the team’s two rumored top targets, Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder and Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers are about to coach their teams in the playoffs this week, and not available for interviews as a result.
But whether it’s those two the Lakers want, or another out-of-left-field name like Klutch Sports client and Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, the point is that most of the most desirable names to replace Vogel are still working and employed by other NBA teams. Whether an early loss would get any of those guys — or other possible candidates — fired or made available is an open question, but the Lakers can’t even really begin a public interview process until they know who their real options are and can openly speak with them without violating NBA tampering rules.
Oh, and they have to officially fire Vogel first, too, whenever they can find time to get around to it.
Frank Vogel says, “I haven’t been told s— and I’m going to enjoy tonight’s game … We’ll deal with tomorrow tomorrow,” when asked about the ESPN story about his job status.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) April 11, 2022
So, because of how early the Lakers’ season ended, expect this search to last a few weeks at least. And if it is anything like the wild, rumor-heavy search process in 2020, buckle up. It’s going to be a wild ride.