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Report: Timberwolves receive permission to interview Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger

May 21, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Six Getty Images

An earthquake of front-office confusion hit the Memphis Grizzlies, and the aftershocks are still reverberating.

Jerry Zgoda of the Star-Tribune:

The Wolves have been given permission to talk to Memphis coach Dave Joerger and will probably do so by the end of the week, according to a league source.

Bottom line, according to the source: Joerger wants out and Grizzlies ownership wants him out, but Joerger doesn’t want to leave the rest of his multi-year contract on the table and the team doesn’t want to pay him off.

If the Timberwolves get Joerger, that would be an excellent hire. He guided the Grizzlies to 50 wins despite the team getting hit hard by injuries and playing in a loaded Western Conference. Following Lionel Hollins – another quality coach Memphis was OK with losing – Joerger’s performance was impressive.

He might not persuade Kevin Love to change his mind and stay in Minnesota, but Joerger would give the Timberwolves a chance of winning enough next season to make Love re-consider. He’d be a good coach for any post-Love rebuilding that may need to happen as well.

As for the Grizzlies, what the heck? Why don’t they want to keep a coach like that? Just what is Grizzlies owner Robert Pera doing?

Two key front-office people are out – perhaps related to Pera’s reported desire to fire Joerger early in the season. No matter what role that debate played in the rift, Pera now has fewer roadbacks to dumping Joerger – especially if Memphis no longer has to pay the coach.

Whether or not Joerger leaves for the Timberwolves, don’t expect that to end the Grizzlies’ shakeup. John Hollinger remains in the front office, and it’s unknown his role going forward. Zach Randolph can become a free agent this offseason, and Marc Gasol’s contract ends in 2015.

Randolph previously said he wants to spend the rest of his career with the Grizzlies, but they’re quickly straying from being the Grizzlies that Randolph – and everyone else – knows.

  1. memphismiracle - May 21, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    What a bad look for a franchise. Geez.

    • eventhorizon04 - May 21, 2014 at 2:12 PM

      I don’t get what’s going on.

      Yeah, the Grizz struggled early under Joerger, but he was installing a new system on offense and lost one of his best players in Marc Gasol for much of the year. Once they got healthy, that team was rolling and almost upset the OKC Thunder in round 1.

      With maybe 1 more extra piece this upcoming season, better injury luck, and more familiarity with Joerger’s system, the Grizz were absolutely contenders for a top-4 seed next year, and I’m not a Grizz fan.

      Just weird.

  2. azarkhan - May 21, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    “Never interfere with the enemy when he is in the process of destroying himself.” – Other Western Conference contenders

  3. 00maltliquor - May 21, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    I’m so glad I’m not a Grizzlies fan. That franchise would frustrate me to no end.

  4. asimonetti88 - May 21, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    Not really sure what Memphis is doing

  5. campcouch - May 21, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    wow,didn’t they chase Lionel Hollins out because Joeger was their guy?

    • sportsfan18 - May 21, 2014 at 3:04 PM

      Correct… and the other part of that was that Hollins was an old school guy that did NOT like all the new sabermetrics… and Joeger liked using the fancy stats which the Memphis big wigs like and wanted to be used…

      So they put a guy in who did what they wanted, did OK without Gasol and then got him back, made the playoffs when they were in a fight with the Suns and the Mavs for the last two places and then fared well against the Thunder…

      Strange going ons there…

  6. dmo84 - May 21, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    So if the Wolves get him(Joerger) would Randolph consider signing with them if Love was traded? I would be happy if the Wolves traded Love for Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes if they could sign Randolph. Three-way trade possibility involving David Lee going to Memphis. The Wolves don’t drop off on offense and improve their bench(Kelvin Martin, Brewer). Plus they get a proven coach who may be an upgrade at this point.

  7. buffalowned - May 21, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    I really don’t get what this front office is doing. They fire Lionel Hollins after getting to the WCF. Lose the following year in 7 games to a legit contender (and might have won if Z-bo was playing) then significantly shake up their front office and are willing to let another coach go? Talented roster but why would anyone want to coach them at this point?

    • spursareold - May 21, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      It’s not their front office, it’s the owner. He’s a 30 something billionaire who thinks he can buy anything immediately with money. Call it Mark Cuban disease.

      • sdelmonte - May 21, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        More like Jim Dolan Disease since the Mavs won a title and remain a franchise with some cachet.

      • spursareold - May 21, 2014 at 3:50 PM

        Perhaps I should have called it Early Ownership Mark Cuban disease.

  8. xmen1906 - May 21, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    As a Griz fan, I’m not liking where this is headed. How many more years does this roster have to truly make a run at the title (1or 2 max) and they are trying to ruin these 2 years.

    **yes I know its along shot for them to be champs, but if things break right with this group of player they could make the finals**

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