NBA Insider Suggests Frank Vogel May Not Be the Person Fired for Suns Implosion

Vogel may not have been the problem with the Suns.
Apr 28, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns head coach Frank Vogel looks on Monday during the
Apr 28, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns head coach Frank Vogel looks on Monday during the / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
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The Phoenix Suns were unceremoniously swept by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the opening round of the NBA playoffs Sunday night. Questions surround the franchise's future, and they may not be easy to answer.

The Suns were arguably the NBA's biggest disappointment of the 2023-24 season, and someone will have to pay the price. NBA insider Chris Haynes isn't so sure coach Frank Vogel will be the scapegoat for the team's brutal postseason showing.

Haynes joined the "Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz" on Monday and said Vogel likely wasn't the problem with the Suns and that the front office may instead shoulder the blame.

Haynes said, "Frank Vogel wanted a point guard on that roster. And the front office believed bringing a point guard over would take the ball out of the hands of Bradley Beal, Devin Booker and Kevin Durant."

The relevant clip from the segment is below.

The Suns desperately needed a point guard to set the table for their three stars, but they also assembled a roster around three ball-dominant players. Durant will make $51.2 million next season, Beal will receive $50.2 million and Booker will make $49.4 million. On top of that, they owe Jusuf Nurkic $18.1 million and Grayson Allen $15.6 million. That's an incredibly top-heavy roster without having anyone to run the point.

Phoenix was swept in the first round after finishing the regular season 49-33 in sixth place in the Western Conference. The Suns added Beal in the offseason, giving up a ton of draft capital to create their version of the Big Three, but he proceeded to struggle fitting in with his new teammates.

In 53 games during the 2023-24 campaign, Beal averaged 18.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. That's a five-point drop to his per-game average from last year, and more than 13 points fewer than he averaged for Washington during the 2020-21 season. The 30-year-old set a career-high shooting 43.0% from three-point range, but there is only one ball to split between three volume scorers.

In Vogel's first season with the Suns, it doesn't seem as though he was the glaring problem. The roster was. No one could have won with this group given the issues that exist, and that's the fault of the front office. It's possible Vogel will take the fall for this season, but owner Mat Ishbia may have to clean house to get things right in Phoenix.


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Ryan Phillips

RYAN PHILLIPS

Ryan Phillips is a Senior Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Ryan has worked in digital media since 2009, spending eight years at The Big Lead before joining the SI team in 2024. He also co-hosts The Assembly Call Podcast about Indiana Hoosiers basketball and previously worked at Bleacher Report. Ryan is a proud San Diego native and a graduate of Indiana University’s journalism school.