The Memphis Grizzlies have given permission to current head coach and Staples, Minn. native Dave Joerger to interview for the Minnesota Timberwolves head coaching vacancy, according to a report from Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.
Joerger went 50-32 in his first season as coach and led the Grizzlies to the playoffs, losing in the first round to the Oklahoma City Thunder in seven games. Zgoda also said he wants out of Memphis due changes in the front office.
Joerger has history with Wolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders. He used to attend Wolves practices as a young coach when Saunders was the coach.
Grantland NBA writer Zach Lowe tweeted that hiring Joerger as the coach would be a smart move for the team.
Joerger is originally from Staples and graduated from Moorhead State. His coaching career began in 1997 in the International Basketball Association. He was an assistant for the Grizzlies from 2007-2013, and was hired as head coach in June 2013 after the team decided not to renew then head coach Lionel Hollins' contract.
Joerger's potential departure from Memphis may be due to some shake-ups in the Grizzlies' front office. On Monday, Memphis's CEO, Jason Levien, and assistant general manager, Stu Lash, were both let go from the team. In short, the situation in Memphis is a disaster.
On Sunday, Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Wolves were also interested in former player Sam Mitchell as a possible head coaching candidate.
Meanwhile, KFAN's Dan Barreiro is reporting that Wolves president Flip Saunders had extensive conversations with Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo as recently as Tuesday night, but Izzo will not be taking the job with the Wolves.