Suns fire coach Frank Vogel after one season on job

After a mediocre regular season, then being unceremoniously eliminated from the playoffs despite having one of the highest salaries in the league, the Phoenix… The Suns plan to keep their three stars — Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal — together.

Frank Vogel won’t coach them.

Vogel was made a scapegoat and was let go by the Suns on Thursday after one season at the helm of the franchise.

“As we said in the May 1 press conference, team leadership, including myself, Josh Bartelstein, and ownership will look to basketball operations to determine what changes need to be made,” Suns president of basketball operations and general manager James Jones said. a permit.

He added: “After a thoughtful review of the season, we have concluded that we need a different coach for our team. We appreciate Frank’s hard work and commitment. We are here to win the championship and last season fell well short of our expectations. We will continue to evaluate our processes and make the necessary changes to reach our goals in the championship. We are all We take responsibility, and it’s my job, along with Josh and ownership, to build a championship team.

Jones — and owner Matt Ishbia — handed Vogel a roster with three big names but little in terms of depth or quality of defenders. One of their big three was injured and out for much of the season — they played just 41 games together — and the lack of depth and time to develop cohesion bit them in the playoffs when they faced a team with plenty of depth and skill. Timberwolves defense. Swept the Minnesota Suns out of the playoffs.

Vogel had his mistakes this season, and there seemed to be a disconnect between him and the players at times, but he also did a respectable job given the limitations of what was handed to him. Vogel was hired as a defensive backs coach, but getting this list just above the league average (13th) was a good job — he can’t turn Jusuf Nurkic into Rudy Gobert in the paint. The team was hot to end the season but faced a Minnesota team that could exploit their weaknesses, making for an ugly finish.

This firing would not have happened if Durant or Booker had pushed to keep Vogel.

Whoever comes next will be the team’s third coach in three years. New owner Ishbia did not contact Monty Williams and let him go, only to move on to Vogel.

Mike Budenholzer “will be a prominent part” of the search for a new head coach, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. This makes sense because Coach Bud is a defense-first coach, although that’s also part of the reason Vogel was hired. If the Trail Blazers and Chauncey Billups end up parting ways (as has been rumored), this is another name to keep an eye on.

Whoever takes over as coach next will have largely the same roster that Vogel coached this season. There will be adjustments and – *Ishpeya knocks on wood* – better health, but how much will that help in the Very Deep West?

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