UTAH JAZZ

LA Times: Snyder ‘Less Interested’ In Lakers After Vogel Firing

Apr 12, 2022, 4:44 PM | Updated: 4:49 pm
Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder coaching against the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Image...
Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder coaching against the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Quin Snyder may be less interested in the Los Angeles Lakers head coaching position after how the team dismissed Frank Vogel shortly after their season ended.

According to Broderick Turner of the LA Times, a source indicated that Snyder’s interest in the job may have wained after Vogel’s rocky dismissal.

“People not authorized to speak publicly on the matter said [Snyder] has become less interested in the Lakers’ job because of how the Vogel firing was handled,” Turner wrote.

Immediately following the conclusion of the Lakers season finale overtime victory over the Denver Nuggets, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that Vogel would be replaced, and could be notified as soon as the next day.

“Frank Vogel has coached his final game for the Lakers, a decision that’s expected to be shared with him as soon as Monday, sources tell ESPN,” Wojnarowski tweeted. “Lakers’ search expected to be lengthy and expansive with no clear initial frontrunner.”

Snyder has been one of several names rumored to be drawing interest from the Lakers this offseason. Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers, Los Angeles Clippers coach Ty Lue, and Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse have also been named as candidates.

Snyder is in his eighth season overseeing the Jazz and has led the team to their sixth consecutive playoff appearance.

The coach finished third last season in Coach of the Year voting after leading the Jazz to the best record in the regular season and oversaw Lakers star LeBron James team during the 2021 All-Star game in Atlanta.

Snyder previously worked for the Lakers in 2011-12 under coach Mike Brown before departing Los Angeles to coach for CSKA Moscow.

With the Jazz, Snyder has a coaching record of 372-264 with three opening-round playoff series wins. The Jazz finished with the fifth seed in the Western Conference with a record of 49-33 this season.

Why Would Snyder Leave Jazz For Lakers?

With Snyder’s interest rumored to be dropping, it’s worth asking why Snyder would have interest in the Lakers job in the first place?

The Lakers missed the playoffs this season, and with an aging James, an oft-injured Anthony Davis struggling to stay on the floor, and Russell Westbrook eating up more than a third of the team’s salary cap, how tantalizing is the job this summer?

First, it can’t be overlooked that Los Angeles is a draw as a city, and the Lakers have always been one of the league’s premier franchises, whether they are winning or not.

In Utah, even when the Jazz are playing well, the team is often overlooked.

Second, while the Jazz are not hurting for money, the Lakers could have a blank check waiting for Snyder to come in and take over for Vogel, even though Snyder has at least one more year on his Jazz contract.

Third, as long as LeBron remains in LA, the Lakers have a chance to win games. Even though the Lakers won only 33 games this season, James is still one of the greatest players in the world, and in the playoffs, gives his team a puncher’s chance of winning a title.

Teamed with a healthier Davis, the Lakers have a legitimate argument to have two top 10 players in the league. Though Donovan Mitchell is only now entering his prime, and Rudy Gobert is one of the league’s premier big men, neither has shown the ability to carry a team to a championship.

Fourth, if there was ever a good time to take over the Lakers this job, this might be it. Coming off a disastrous season, the Lakers are expected to make significant changes to the roster this summer, which may include parting ways with Westbrook.

If the Lakers can add a few valuable role players, and stay healthier, they’ll be a safe bet to make the playoffs next season, with low pressure to win a title. That’s not a bad time to take over a legendary franchise.

Finally, Snyder may be simply ready for a change. Since taking over the head coaching job in Utah, the Jazz’s ownership, general manager, and team CEO have all changed in recent years.

Though he’s the fourth-longest tenured coach in the NBA, Snyder doesn’t have a long history of extended stays at most stops durings his basketball career.

After graduating from Duke, Snyder tested the NBA waters as a player for the Indiana Pacers but opted against a professional career.

While pursuing a graduate degree at Duke, Snyder served as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Clippers for a season, before joining Mike Krzyzewski’s staff with the Blue Devils.

Snyder was with Duke for six seasons before accepting the head coaching position at the University of Missouri, which he held until 2006.

After Missouri, Snyder spent three seasons coaching the Austin Toros, then single seasons as an assistant for the Philadelphia 76ers, the Lakers, CKSA Moscow, and the Atlanta Hawks before being hired by the Jazz.

Ultimately, while he may have a safer long-term job in Utah, a shakeup to the status quo, a new challenge, and a higher ceiling to win in Los Angeles may be enough to pry Snyder away from the Jazz.

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LA Times: Snyder ‘Less Interested’ In Lakers After Vogel Firing