The South Bay Lakers are now in the market for a new head coach, as Phoenix Suns head coach Frank Vogel continued to poach from his former staff by recruiting SBL head coach Miles Simon to join him in Phoenix.
Chris Haynes of Turner Sports broke the news on Saturday night:
Both worked under Vogel as assistants with the Los Angeles Lakers.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 18, 2023
Phil Handy is now the only remaining Lakers coach to serve under Frank Vogel, as Simon joins Jon Pastorek among Vogel’s many former assistants joining him in the Valley of the Sun.
David Fizdale, Miles Simon, John Lucas III, Jon Pastorek, Greg St. Jean, Quinton Crawford— pickuphoop (@pickuphoop) June 18, 2023
Exact same staff with Kevin Young instead of Phil Handy
Simon was the only assistant coach kept on by Vogel and the Lakers after Luke Walton was fired, and he was named South Bay’s head coach — in a hybrid role that saw him continue on as a Lakers assistant — in 2021. SBL went 42-22 in the regular season during Simon’s two years at the helm, the second of which did not see him on new head coach Darvin Ham’s bench like he had continued to be under Vogel.
With that semi-demotion in mind, Simon looking for an elevation in role elsewhere always seemed fairly inevitable. Simon also won a national championship with the Arizona Wildcats in 1997, so joining the Suns is additionally a bit of a homecoming for him.
With Simon’s departure, South Bay will be looking for its 10th head coach in franchise history, and while it’s unclear who the candidates are, the job is thought to be desirable in G League coaching circles. And with the new collective bargaining agreement’s addition of a third two-way player to rosters and punitive cap rules making finding and developing cheap reinforcements in the G League more valuable than ever, who Darvin Ham tabs to implement his vision in the minor leagues will be worth keeping an eye on.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.