As soon as Frank Vogel was hired by the Phoenix Suns, one of the things many NBA observers (including myself) wondered was if he would poach from his former Lakers coaching staff to bolster his bench in the desert, something coaches generally do when they get a new job not long after departing their last team.
Well, in at least one case, the answer to that question is yes, as multiple reports on Friday indicated that player development coach Jon Pastorek will be joining Vogel in Phoenix:
Lakers assistant Jon Pastorek will be joining Frank Vogel’s staff in Phoenix, sources tell the @latimes. Pastorek has worked for the Lakers since 2017, a valued bridge between Luke Walton, Vogel and Darvin Ham’s tenures. He won a title on Vogel’s staff.— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) June 17, 2023
Jon Pastorek, who spent the last six seasons with the L.A. Lakers on the coaching staffs of Luke Walton, Frank Vogel and Darvin Ham, and elevated to a player development coach and advanced scout for LAL, will be joining Vogel in PHX as an assistant coach, sources tell ESPN— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) June 17, 2023
Most Lakers fans are likely not incredibly familiar with Pastorek, as he was a behind-the-bench coach. He is probably most recognizable to those paying close attention as the tall, relatively young assistant who generally would warm up against Anthony Davis and other Laker big men before games:
Going through his post progression pic.twitter.com/Gq6QI8RtRz— Cooper Halpern (@CooperHalpern) April 23, 2023
It’s currently unknown if Darvin Ham and the Lakers will opt to elevate from within to replace Pastorek, or hire an outside coach to fill his role. The Lakers will at least need to add another tall person to the staff to contest Davis’ shots pregame at the very least.
Tristan Thompson, come on down?
This is evidently not breaking news inside the organization, as Pastorek is no longer listed on the team’s coaching roster. Next to Ham, the Lakers still list lead assistant Chris Jent, as well as assistants Phil Handy, Jordan Ott, J.D. DuBois, Schuyler Rimmer and Zach Peterson on their official webpage.
Other than Handy — who does not appear to be leaving — none of those coaches worked under Vogel, so at this point it would appear that Vogel is done recruiting off of the Lakers’ staff, unless he opts to try and recruit former assistant and current South Bay Lakers head coach Miles Simon, or any of the team’s longtime G League coaching staff.
Whatever happens, stay tuned to Silver Screen and Roll for the latest updates, and best of luck to Pastorek as he moves forward in his career alongside Vogel in Phoenix.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.