With every loss mounting, speculation of Frank Vogel’s job security grows. Ever since training camp, Vogel and members of his team have preached patience. Vogel is known for his defense as a coach, and after leading the Lakers to top-three finishes in defense the past two years (first last season), the Lakers are currently in the bottom half of league, ranking 20th.
Only three players on the current roster are returning players from the prior season. In LeBron James inaugural season with the Miami Heat, they started the season 9-8. It took time for James and Dwayne Wade to figure out who would be the first option, and defined roles for everyone on the team.
Speculation started ever since the Lakers gave Vogel a one-year extension the past summer. It was shocking to many within league circles that a coach would still be under the status of a lame-duck coach, after winning a title less than a year ago.
NBA insider Marc Stein wrote on his Substack Friday how chatter amongst the league is getting louder regarding Vogel’s status as coach.
"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."
Undoubtedly, this is unfair, especially since Vogel had no control on constructing the team. GM Rob Pelinka replaced most of defensive makeup of the team (Danny Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma) with shooters who provided nothing on the defensive end (Malik Monk, Wayne Ellington, DeAndre Jordan).
The Athletic’s Sam Amick confirmed what Stein said about Vogel’s status amongst the team.
“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.”
The real issue remains about who can really replace Vogel at this point in the season. David Fizdale is probably the most likely candidate since he is already on the Lakers bench, but he is known more as a defensive specialist. It seems like Pelinka and Kurt Rambis really dropped the ball with bringing in an offensive coordinator (Mike D’Antoni type) to help bring more creativity on the offensive end. If the Lakers are still hovering around .500 in a month or so, it would not be surprising if there is a change made on the Lakers coaching seat.