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Frank Vogel says that Phil Handy has been ‘integral’ to Lakers this year, declines comment on Nets rumors

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Frank Vogel would support any of his assistant coaches if they wanted to leave for a better opportunity in the NBA

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2020 NBA Restart - All Access Practice Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

At every stop of Phil Handy’s coaching career, he’s quickly become a fan favorite. When he left the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Toronto Raptors in 2018, the team’s supporters were sad to see him leave. The same can be said about how Raptors fans felt when Handy left to join the Los Angeles Lakers in 2019.

While there’s no reason to believe Handy will leave the Lakers after this season, there’s at least one opportunity for him elsewhere in the NBA if he wants it. According to a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic on Thursday, Steve Nash, the new coach of the Brooklyn Nets, wants Handy on his coaching staff.

Vogel declined to comment on the report, but he said that he’d support anyone on his coaching staff if they wanted to leave his bench for a better position with another team. He also talked about what Handy has brought to the team this season.

“It’s case-by-case, and it’s really just like the rest of the league,” Vogel said. “If any of our assistants have an opportunity to have an advancement opportunity, then we typically would grant permission. But it would be case-by-case, and I don’t know anything about the situation you mentioned.

“But Phil Handy brings great experience to our team. He’s been in the Finals the last five years, and obviously has great experience and background working with LeBron, does a great job with our whole group in player development, and has been an integral part of our success this year.”

With a few exciting young players on the roster and at least one more on the horizon by way of the 2020 NBA Draft, Handy could have his hands full with projects next season, starting with offseason workouts. Hopefully that’s enough for him to stick around in Los Angeles for at least one more season.

I mean, how else is Talen Horton-Tucker supposed to make the All-Star game in his second season?

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.