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The Los Angeles Lakers’ head coaching search has come to an end, as they are hiring former Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic coach Frank Vogel to try to right the ship.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ohm Youngmisuk, Vogel agreed to a three-year deal with the team on Saturday.
The Los Angeles Times‘ Tania Ganguli reported that Jason Kidd, who interviewed for the post in April, will join the Lakers as an assistant. Wojnarowski added Kidd will receive a “prominent assistant coaching role” on the staff.
This comes after former Philadelphia 76ers assistant Monty Williams took the Phoenix Suns job and former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue withdrew from consideration earlier in the month.
After serving as an assistant coach in the Association for nearly a decade, Vogel received his first head coaching gig on an interim basis in 2011 in Indiana. He would go on to play a key role in turning the Pacers into one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference during the first half of this decade.
Vogel went 250-181 in five-plus seasons in Indiana, posting a losing record just once while topping out at 56 wins. Under his command, the Pacers made back-to-back trips to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2013 and 2014, losing to LeBron James and the Miami Heat both times.
Vogel then spent two seasons with the Magic, going 54-110 before being relieved of his duties in April 2018.
When Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported on May 6 that Lue and the Lakers had been working on a deal to fill the vacancy, Vogel’s name had come up as a potential lead assistant. With Lue bowing out of the running, though, Vogel had the opportunity to grab an even bigger role.
Despite signing James—a four-time NBA MVP and three-time champion—last offseason, Los Angeles missed out on the postseason for a franchise-record sixth consecutive season while going 37-45 in 2018-19. While the team managed to stay in contention past the All-Star break, injuries ultimately took their toll.
James is under contract for at least two more seasons, though the rest of the roster may be retooled as the Lakers look to return to contender status.
The Lakers enter the lottery with the fourth-worst odds (2 percent) to win the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft.
It’s been an offseason of change in L.A. Not only did former coach Luke Walton move on to the Sacramento Kings, but Magic Johnson also unexpectedly stepped down as team president in April. That left Jeanie Buss and Co. several keys spots to fill.
The Lakers’ roster is far from settled, but the organization believes Vogel is the right choice to lead it into the future.