PHOENIX SUNS

Suns to reportedly take ‘hard look’ at firing Frank Vogel after players questioned offense

Apr 28, 2024, 11:18 PM | Updated: Apr 29, 2024, 6:58 am

Frank Vogel's job security is reportedly in question after the Suns were swept by the T-Wolves on S...

Frank Vogel's job security is reportedly in question after the Suns were swept by the T-Wolves on Sunday. (Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)

(Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)

After the Minnesota Timberwolves’ sweep was completed on Sunday, the Phoenix Suns are facing some tough decisions about how to move forward, and Frank Vogel’s future as coach is on the line.

Not long after the final buzzer, speculation started flying about the team’s unclear future. The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Doug Haller detailed what they were hearing.

But the buck stops at the head coach, and for the second offseason in a row, sources briefed on the situation told The Athletic that Phoenix will take a hard look at making a full coaching change or, at the very least, discuss adjustments to Vogel’s staff.

One adjustment to Vogel’s staff that is assured is the departure of associate head coach Kevin Young, who will move on to be the men’s basketball head coach at BYU.

Vogel told reporters before the Game 4 loss he was “very” confident in his job security, saying he has the “full support” of team owner Mat Ishbia.

According to Charania and Haller, the issues tied into the team struggling to find its own identity. Vogel wanted to play scrappy but the players too infrequently showed enough urgency to be classified as “scrappy.”

Players were also unhappy with how they were utilized in the offense, namely Kevin Durant.

Meanwhile, Durant, among the best scorers in NBA history, was not always happy with how he was used. Sources briefed on the matter told The Athletic that Durant never felt comfortable with his role in Phoenix’s offense alongside Booker and Beal this season. Those sources said Durant had persistent issues with the offense, feeling that he was being relegated to the corner far too often and not having the proper designs to play to his strengths as the offense was built around pick-and-rolls. At the same time, some teammates and people close to the organization believed Durant needed to voice his concerns more adamantly and directly with Vogel and his coaching staff.

Durant finished the regular season averaging 27.1 points per game on 41.3% 3-point shooting, having played his most games in a season since 2018-19, which was before his Achilles injury. The Suns’ offensive rating was 10th over the season.

The Big 3 is all under contract for at least the next two years, each with cap hits around $50 million for 2024-25, essentially guaranteeing an extended stay for Phoenix in the second apron.

Vogel signed a five-year contract last summer worth $31 million.

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