Frank Vogel was not the problem for the Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns moved quick to fire head coach Frank Vogel after their season ended, but he was never really the problem in The Valley.
Minnesota Timberwolves v Phoenix Suns - Game Four
Minnesota Timberwolves v Phoenix Suns - Game Four / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The Phoenix Suns have started making moves this offseason, with the firing of head coach Frank Vogel, who has already been replaced by Mike Budenholzer. The former Milwaukee Bucks leading man who beat the Suns in the 2021 NBA Finals.

Vogel only coached the Suns for the 2023-24 season, with the team finishing sixth in the conference and ultimately being swept in the first round by the Minnesota Timberwolves. There have been many rumors about where the Suns go from here, after trading a number of key players for Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal.

There have been calls for the Suns to consider trading one or multiple stars to try and rework their contending team.

Phoenix's first move was to remove their coach without giving him a fair shot at having a second season. While Vogel may not have been the perfect choice for the coaching position, he does bring a good defensive mind to the game and has proven success being the championship winning coach of the Los Angeles Lakers back in 2020.

Vogel was used as a scapegoat with the firing, and will be paid the full $31 million of his contract, setting the team back further in debt.

While coach Bud will certainly help the team, there was no reason the Suns needed to move on from Vogel. Phoenix had a number of issues this season that did not involve the coaching. The Suns have struggled with injuries throughout the season, with the big three of Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal and Devin Booker barely playing any games together in the early part of the season.

The roster construction was also difficult to work with, as the team was very top heavy with superstars. The bench was not very deep, with a couple of players such as Grayson Allen and Bol Bol leading the bench production. However, not many other contributors were there to step up when the "Big 3" were hurt.

Many could argue that the coaching did play a role, as many have argued that Vogel did not utilize his players correctly. One example of this is the use of superstar Kevin Durant, who allegedly was unhappy with how he was being utilized in the offensive gameplan. Durant was often seen this season not as involved, as majority of the offensive game ran through superstar Devin Booker.

This may have also resulted in the alleged conflict between Vogel and Durant, as former NBA player and current sports analyst Kendrick Perkins alleged that Durant was the reasoning for Vogel's unjust firing during his appearance on Sportscenter.

"“Frank Vogel did not deserve to lose his job, but he did because the Phoenix Suns had to make a choice between Frank Vogel and Kevin Durant"

Kendrick Perkins

The Suns may have made a decision to try and keep Durant, despite the trade rumors, and rid themselves of Vogel in the process. This remains to be seen as Phoenix could still be shaking things up after their results this season. It seems that the Suns could have given Vogel another run with a retooled roster, as injuries and talent also played a massive role in a disappointing season.