5. Frank Vogel
Although Lakers fans seem intent on attempting to steal other teams’ talents with proposed Russell Westbrook trades and jersey swaps online, the Chicago Bulls have an interesting opportunity here to turn the tables and swipe some formerly LA-based talent instead.
Despite leading the team to a 52-19 record and an NBA championship in 2020, Frank Vogel was released from the Lakers before the start of this season in favor of new head coach Darvin Ham.
Prior to the messy situation in LA, Vogel registered eight years as a head coach for Indiana and Orlando as well as another eight as an assistant. Vogel has racked up a solid record of 431-389 in his 11 years as a head coach, a mark that would look substantially better without a pair of disastrous seasons spent in Orlando.
The Chicago Bulls would benefit tremendously by having a championship-caliber coach lead this team.
Vogel has consistently been at the head of some of the NBA’s best defensive units. After replacing Jim O’Brien as head coach for the Pacers in 2011, Indiana experienced tremendous growth in defensive impact. This carried over to his tenure with the Lakers. In spite of a relatively undermanned roster in both years, Vogel’s improvisations helped LA achieve the NBA’s 3rd best defense in 2019-20 and the 1st best defense in 2020-21.
The Chicago Bulls are a team currently loaded up on role players with defensive potential who are forced to account for the Big 3’s deficiencies on that end of the court. Having someone like Vogel at the helm to experiment with the rotations could ultimately unveil a more effective way to utilize Chicago’s three primary offensive threats.
Meanwhile, it’s easy to imagine players like Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu, and Javonte Green thriving in Vogel’s system. After all, we already saw Caruso do just that, when he had the second-highest defensive box plus/minus on the Lakers’ 2020 championship roster, behind only Davis himself.