LA Times: Snyder ‘less interested’ in Lakers after Vogel fired

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

According to Broderick Turner of Los Angeles Timea source indicated that Snyder’s interest in the job may have waned after Vogel was abruptly fired.

“People not authorized to speak publicly on the matter said [Snyder] became less interested in the Lakers job due to the way Vogel’s firing was handled,” Turner wrote.

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

“Frank Vogel coached his last game for the Lakers, a decision that should be communicated to him as early as Monday, sources told ESPN,” Wojnarowski tweeted. “The Lakers’ search should be long and expansive with no clear initial favorite.”

Snyder was one of many names rumored to attract Lakers interest this offseason. Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers, Los Angeles Clippers coach Ty Lue and Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse were also named candidates.

Snyder is in his eighth season overseeing the Jazz and led the team to its sixth straight playoff appearance.

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

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

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

Why would Snyder leave jazz for the Lakers?

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

The Lakers have missed the playoffs this season, and with an aging James, an oft-injured Anthony Davis struggling to stay grounded, and Russell Westbrook eating over a third of the team’s salary cap, just how is work attractive this summer?

First of all, it can’t be ignored that Los Angeles is a draw as a city, and the Lakers have always been one of the top franchises in the league, whether they win or not.

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

Second, while the Jazz aren’t short on cash, the Lakers could have a blank check waiting for Snyder to come in and take over from Vogel, even though Snyder still has at least a year left on his contract with Jazz.

Third, as long as LeBron stays in Los Angeles, the Lakers have a chance to win games. Even though the Lakers have only won 33 games this season, James is still one of the greatest players in the world and, coming into the playoffs, gives his team a shot at a title.

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

Fourth, if there was ever a good time to take that job back to the Lakers, this could be it. After a disastrous season, the Lakers are expected to make significant roster changes this summer, which could include a parting ways with Westbrook.

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

Finally, Snyder may just be ready for a change. Since taking over as head coach at Utah, the ownership, general manager and CEO of the Jazz team have all changed in recent years.

Despite being the fourth longest-serving starting coach in the NBA, Snyder doesn’t have a long history of extended stays at most stops during his basketball career.

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

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

Snyder was with Duke for six seasons before accepting the head coaching job 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, Lakers, CKSA Moscow and Atlanta Hawks before being hired by the Jazz.

Ultimately, while he may have a more secure long-term job in Utah, a status quo shake-up, a new challenge and a higher ceiling to win in Los Angeles might be enough to keep Snyder away from the Jazz.