Is the perfect head coach about to become available for the Suns?

The Phoenix Suns haven't parted ways with head coach Frank Vogel, but the ideal replacement could be about to hit the open market.
Los Angeles Clippers v Phoenix Suns - Game Two
Los Angeles Clippers v Phoenix Suns - Game Two / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

We are less than a week removed from the Phoenix Suns exiting the postseason at the first hurdle, and already so much has happened. There was the report from Shams Charania of The Athletic that seemed to appear mere moments after the season ended, claiming Kevin Durant never felt comfortable in the Suns' offense.

Then there was the out of nowhere "rumors" that Devin Booker would be open to going to the New York Knicks - although as we tried to break down - putting together a package for him that the Suns would be interested in would be rather difficult. These rumors were quickly shot down, but you can bet there will be plenty more Booker talk this offseason.

One member of the Suns who many did expect to get the boot right away is head coach Frank Vogel, but that has not yet happened.

Vogel even survived the impromptu end of season press conference that owner Mat Ishbia decided to hold alongside General Manager James Jones. Ishbia didn't exactly speak glowingly about Vogel - although there was too much enthusiasm and optimism on the day from the owner - but he wasn't given his marching orders like many expected either.

Coach Vogel deserves some more time with this team, and it is hard to place much of the blame on how the season went on his shoulders. It's not his fault the Suns lacked depth, had a limited starting center in Jusuf Nurkic and a third star in Bradley Beal who took more than half the season to get both healthy and into a groove. But what if a better alternative hits the open market, and soon?

That is where current L.A. Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue enters the conversation. The Clippers currently trail the Dallas Mavericks in their own playoff series, and many expect the Mavericks to advance to the next round. Much like the Suns - the Clippers have plenty of firepower - and they also have the depth that the Suns are lacking too.

Behind Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and James Harden, the Clippers also boast Ivica Zubac, Norman Powell, Amir Coffey, Terance Mann and Mason Plumlee. Every single one of those players would have made the Suns' postseason rotation, and they also have Russell Westbrook, Bones Hyland and Daniel Theis. If they exit the playoffs in round one, Lue will almost certainly be the fall guy.

But the Suns should absolutely enquire about his services if that does happen. Much like the Suns the Clippers also traded for a third star in Harden - and did so during the season - and it worked out much better than the Beal for Chris Paul deal. But having to take on such a big character and balance so many moving parts throughout a season is hard.

Lue was also the guy who was brought into what was his first head coaching job to help LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers win a championship back in 2016. That happened midway through the season, and it was the right change at the perfect time for that group to go all the way.

Lue has experience dealing with massive personalities, and is a bigger one than Vogel himself. One of the main knocks on the current Suns' leading man has been his apparent passive nature and unwillingness to take risks, even as the season was going up in flames. The use of Bol Bol was a good example of this, as the player earned Vogel's trust during the regular season.

3 times Frank Vogel tried to tell Suns' fans something was wrong this season. 3 times Frank Vogel tried to tell Suns' fans something was wrong this season. dark. Next

Yet as the Minnesota Timberwolves were dismantling his team on national television, he never felt like he could turn to Bol to help. He may not have, but it is that kind of risk-averse mentality that has come to define Vogel's tenure in The Valley so far. Lue at the very least would have tried creative ways to solve a difficult problem, although he too can only do so much.

This may all come to nothing, but it is a situation to monitor for the Suns. The season may not have been Vogel's fault, but he didn't do enough to ensure he is guaranteed another campaign to turn things around next year. Championship windows are only open so long - it might not even be for the Suns right now - and Lue is a head coach who could take this organization forward.