The Phoenix Suns have filled their head coaching vacancy after parting ways with Monty Williams this offseason, bringing in former Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel.
Vogel previously wasn’t seen as a major candidate for the job. Reports emerged earlier this month that the organization had narrowed down its list of candidates to Nick Nurse, Doc Rivers, Jordi Fernandez, and Kevin Young.
Instead, it will be Vogel getting the head coaching job in Phoenix, with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first breaking the news.
BREAKING: The Suns are planning to hire Frank Vogel as the franchise’s next coach, sources tell ESPN. Sides are starting work on a long-term deal. Vogel brings with him a 2020 NBA title and history of constructing high-level defenses. pic.twitter.com/csF6bO8Bp7
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 2, 2023
Many around the NBA world offered their opinion on the somewhat surprising hire by Phoenix.
$6.2M annually for Frank Vogel compared to $13M annually for Monty Williams. Crazy https://t.co/4ZCay9JIdZ
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) June 2, 2023
Frank Vogel is a great hire man. Suns already got 2 of the best offensive players in the world.
Give this man the pieces to build an elite defense the way we’ve seen him do before and lets win a ring. pic.twitter.com/PvEPcoeUTb
— andrew leezus (@AndrewLeezus) June 2, 2023
Wildwood NJ native Frank Vogel is one of the most respected defensive minds in basketball. Got a bad wrap with the Lakers after winning a championship in 2020. I respect Frank Vogel as a coach and think this is a really good hire for the Suns! pic.twitter.com/rO5QOs0cWw
— FLEX From Jersey (@FlexFromJersey) June 2, 2023
Monty Williams in Detroit will be making more than double Frank Vogel’s annual salary with the Suns:
Williams = $13 million
Vogel = $6.2 million https://t.co/gKU8K6ABzm
— Evan Sidery (@esidery) June 2, 2023
Frank Vogel's reputation as a defensive specialist is certainly warranted. Here's where his teams have ranked in defensive rating:
— Gerald Bourguet (@GeraldBourguet) June 2, 2023
Vogel has always been praised by those around the NBA for his ability to put a good defensive system into place. On a team that already has a ton of offensive firepower in Kevin Durant and Devin Booker, that certainly could be a fantastic fit.
A defensive-minded head coach could be exactly what the Suns’ organization needs. Phoenix allowed the Denver Nuggets to average 117.1 points per game in their second-round playoffs matchup, which clearly played a big role in their early postseason exit.
Vogel has proven in the past that he can coach at a championship level, helping the Lakers win the NBA Championship in 2020.
It was a questionable decision at the time for the Suns to part ways with Monty Williams, who led the team to three-straight postseason appearances including an NBA Finals appearance in the 20202-21 season. However, this hire of Vogel could fit what this team needs much better than Williams did.