PHOENIX — After a nearly three week-long search for a new head coach, the Phoenix Suns on Friday hired Frank Vogel as their replacement for Monty Williams and the leader they hope can guide them to their first NBA championship.
In a Friday episode of the Locked On Suns podcast, host Brendon Kleen explored the pros and cons of hiring Vogel after the Suns appeared headed toward hiring associate head coach Kevin Young to the seat.
“I think of Vogel’s defensive scheme as a pro, not a con,” Kleen explained. “Not that he’s too stubborn and set in his ways but … super creative, super modern.”
Vogel came to prominence engineering a defensive scheme for the Indiana Pacers that gave the Big Three Miami Heat all they could handle in back-to-back playoff bouts in the early-2010s.
Since then, he has developed a system around Anthony Davis in Los Angeles that helped the Lakers win a title in 2020.
“They probably need a little bit of a different type of roster with Vogel, and so it’s not exactly a hand-in-glove fit,” Kleen said of the cons Vogel brings defensively.
While the future of Deandre Ayton in Phoenix is unclear, the Suns likely need more overall size and versatility to run what Vogel will draw up on defense.
On the offensive end, fortunately for the Suns, Vogel built a championship offense around Davis and LeBron James already, and Phoenix’s offense will largely rest in the hands of star players Devin Booker and Kevin Durant.
“He has made it work with superstar players before,” Kleen said of Vogel’s offenses. “You probably don’t need a lot … and Durant and Booker are going to be enough for you.”
Still, Vogel is not himself going to vault their offense to another level the same way Young or other candidates may have.
“The con offensively … is this is just not a guy who is thought of as an offensive innovator,” Kleen continued. “That side of the ball is not where he’s made his money, it’s just not what you’re hiring him for.”