May 25, 2014, 6:29 PM EDT
In what has been an ongoing saga regarding Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger, it appears that after several steps in a process that seemed to be inching him toward taking a job with the Timberwolves, he will remain the Grizzlies head coach — at least for now.
This all began six days ago, when a shakeup in the Grizzlies front office led to reports of Joerger’s job being jeopardy. He was promoted to head coach after Lionel Hollins was let go the previous season for differences he had with management, but with that management changing once again, it was believed that Joerger would eventually be replaced.
The Timberwolves received permission to interview Joerger for their vacant head coaching position, and after a final meeting with ownership in Minnesota on Saturday, the team decided that Joerger was its man.
Nothing could be finalized, however, because Joerger remained under contract with the Grizzlies. Minnesota and Memphis would need to agree to some compensation for Joerger to be let out of his current deal, but that apparently is where things have hit a snag, prompting Joerger to declare that he’s staying in Memphis.
Whoa: Dave Joerger, per source, has declined the Timberwolves’ offer and will remain coach in Memphis.
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) May 25, 2014
Joeger, Grizzlies and TWolves have been talking all weekend, trying to “overcome differences” as one source put it.
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) May 25, 2014
Can confirm that Dave Joerger has decided to stay in Memphis, per his agent, Warren LeGarie. This likely isn’t over yet though.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) May 25, 2014
Wolves feel as though they don’t want to pay any compensation for a coach they know Grizz don’t want to keep. Matter now of who yields
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) May 25, 2014
Grizzlies owner Robert Pera reached out to Joerger Saturday night, & in conversations then & today convinced him he wanted to keep him.
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) May 25, 2014
And so, here we are.
The Grizzlies still have Joerger in place on a guaranteed deal for two more years at $2 million each, and the Timberwolves know that the desire in Memphis is to cut him loose. That means Minnesota is in a position to sit back and wait for Joerger to become available without offering anything at all in terms of compensation — not even a future second round draft pick, which seems to be a small price to pay.
It’s a game of chicken now, which could very well still land Joerger in Minnesota before this is through. If ownership indeed reached out to Joerger to tell him his job is safe, then it’s understandable that he’d want to stay. But it still seems as though it may take a bit longer for all of this to work itself out.
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