The power struggle in the Grizzlies’ front office is going to affect the product on the court next season, as Dave Joerger — the coach who was promoted to replace a very successful Lionel Hollins due to being more closely aligned with the vision of those in charge — is now apparently on his way out.
Joerger is widely viewed as having done an above average job in his first season, guiding the Grizzlies to 50 wins in the difficult Western Conference before eventually losing to the Thunder in a seven-game playoff series. His services will be in demand next season, but while still under contract in Memphis, his current team wants some compensation for letting him go ahead of schedule.
After meeting with Minnesota Timberwolves president Flip Saunders on Thursday, Memphis coach David Joerger is scheduled for a sit-down talk with owner Glen Taylor that could ultimately clear the way for him to become the Timberwolves coach, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Grizzlies are likely to ask for a second-round pick in exchange for letting Joerger out of his contract to coach the Timberwolves, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The problem for Memphis, obviously, is that Minnesota (or any other team interested in hiring Joerger) doesn’t have to give them anything. With the split being so public, the Timberwolves can simply wait for Joerger to be fired before signing him to a deal, without any compensation whatsoever exchanging hands.
Now, there are strong relationships that exist, both at the front office and the ownership level that might allow some exchange to take place, if nothing more than to simply keep the peace. And, second round picks aren’t all that valuable, so giving one up for a quality head coach might ultimately make some sense.
But no matter where Joerger ends up or what (if anything) the Grizzlies are able to net for letting him go, the situation in Memphis right now appears to be fairly dire. One successful head coach in Hollins was blown out for clashing with the front office, and now a second one in Joerger appears to be on his way out a year later, all over a power struggle that has nothing to do with on-court results.