INDIANAPOLIS -- Pacers coach Frank Vogel is already resigned to making one change next season: Finding a replacement for associate coach Brian Shaw.
Less than 48 hours after being ousted by Miami in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, Vogel told reporters he'd like to keep as many faces around from this year's team as possible. He is virtually certain Shaw will get a head coaching job this summer.
"I'm not really sure how they try to replace him," Vogel said Wednesday. "But I do have the anticipation that we will have to replace him and if we don't, then there are some poor decisions being made out there because I believe he'll be one of the great coaches in this league."
Speculation is running rampant that Shaw could soon be hired as head coach of the Nets or Clippers. Shaw also has been rumored to be in the mix in Detroit and Philadelphia.
Vogel is convinced at least one of those teams will make an offer to Shaw, a former Celtics player who won three championships with the Lakers before winning two more titles with L.A. as an assistant to coach Phil Jackson. With Indiana, he played a key role in the development of young players such as Paul George and Lance Stephenson and developed close relationships with a number of other players.
Donnie Walsh, president of basketball operations, asked Shaw to wait until after the Pacers were eliminated to start interviewing. That happened Monday night when the Pacers were routed 99-76 at Miami.
The knock is that Shaw never has been a head coach, something Vogel expected to change last summer.
This time, though, Vogel is so convinced Shaw will get his big break, he's already contemplating the search for a replacement.
"I'll have to do a lot of research," Vogel said when asked whether he has a short list. "We'll do that as a team with Donnie and (general manager) Kevin Pritchard."
Clearly, that won't be the only change heading into next fall.
While Vogel acknowledges the Pacers need to reduce their turnovers and continue their steady improvement, he believes most of that will come from the experience of spending another summer working out. He'd also like to incorporate some zone defense into the Pacers repertoire, a group that led the league in defensive field goal percentage, defensive 3-point field goal percentage and rebounding and was second in scoring defense last season.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.