The Indiana Pacers took the higher-seeded Toronto Raptors to seven games in the first round of the NBA playoffs but fell short of completing the upset. Now, after six productive years as head coach, Frank Vogel's time in Indiana may be coming to an end.
Vogel's contract extension expires in June, and a new deal from the team may not be forthcoming.
"I don't know what's going to happen," Pacers president Larry Bird said in a recent interview. "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."
The Pacers finished above .500 and made the playoffs in all but one season under Vogel, culminating in back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals appearances from 2012-2014. Though it never toppled the LeBron James-led Miami Heat, the team produced a 250-181 (.580) record under their head coach.
As such, Vogel will be a sought-after commodity if the Pacers do decide to end their run with him. Of the teams with a current head coaching vacancy, the New York Knicks make a lot of sense as a landing spot.
"While Phil Jackson's search has been extremely narrow, with Kurt Rambis still regarded the front-runner, Vogel has Zen master ties and could be a terrific fit if available, especially if [interim Knicks coach Kurt] Rambis agrees to slide over as the offensive coordinator of the triangle," one recent report read.
Vogel worked for the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2005-06 season as an advance scout for Jackson. Vogel also grew up in New Jersey, so coaching near his home might hold a certain appeal.
"From the standpoint of studying the NBA game, I was always a big fan of Phil Jackson and his approach," Vogel said a few years back.
The Knicks are coming off a disappointing 32-50 season, though last year's 17-65 campaign marked a franchise-low for wins in a regular season. Since 2009, New York has scrambled through four different head coaches (Mike D'Antoni, Mike Woodson, Derek Fisher and Rambis). Perhaps Vogel is the one to stop the revolving door.
Follow Brandon Katz at @Great_Katzby