5:34pm: Bird said he’ll speak with owner Herb Simon at an undetermined point to figure out whether to re-sign Vogel, as Bird told Doyel. Finding a way to generate more offense is the key, Bird insisted. “We need to score more points,” Bird said. “If Frank comes back, what can we do to get better offense? It’s on all of us. Frank’s a great guy. He’s going to be fine no matter what happens. If he’s back, he’ll be fine here. If he’s not, he’s not. We’ll see.”
8:45am: Pacers coach Frank Vogel‘s contract expires this summer, and he and the Pacers have yet to discuss an extension, sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link). Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post heard that Vogel might have been coaching for his job Sunday, when the Pacers lost the deciding game of their first-round series to the Raptors (Twitter link). President of basketball operations Larry Bird declined to answer a question after Sunday’s game about whether Vogel would return for next season, saying, “Come on, man, the game just ended,” according to Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter link).
Bird spoke in January about a philosophical difference between himself and Vogel, saying that he preferred an up-tempo attack with Paul George at the power forward while Vogel favored a more conventional approach with two traditional big men. George put up resistance to playing the four at the beginning of the season and Indiana largely abandoned the idea.
That Vogel is on an expiring contract is a surprise, since the Pacers announced in October 2014 that the extension he signed then was for multiple seasons, notes Scott Agness of VigilantSports (Twitter link). Sean Deveney of The Sporting News reported shortly after the extension that indications were that it ran through the 2016/17 season. However, it appears in the wake of today’s news that the multiple years to which the team referred included the 2014/15 season, which had already been a part of Vogel’s pact.
The 42-year-old Vogel would become an intriguing candidate on the coaching market were he and the Pacers to part ways, as Wojnarowski points out (Twitter link). He’s 250-181 in parts of six seasons with Indiana, his only NBA head coaching stop. That doesn’t include a 31-30 record in the playoffs, where Vogel guided the Pacers to back-to-back appearances in the Eastern Conference finals in 2013 and 2014. The Kings, Rockets and Knicks are the NBA teams looking for head coaches at present.
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