The Grizzlies didn’t give Lionel Hollins a contract extension, but since talks fizzled, Hollins helped Memphis to the Western Conference Finals and its finest season in franchise history. As a reward, Hollins can become a coaching free agent and use his newfound leverage to get a good contract in a desirable destination.
But if Hollins goes that route, he must wait.
Hollins said he doesn’t expect to be granted permission to speak to other teams before his contract expires on June 30.
Obviously, this gives the Grizzlies a significant leg up. Not every team will want to wait another month for just the chance of acquiring Hollins’ services.
But one team that’s reportedly hot on the Hollins trail – the Brooklyn Nets – might be inclined to weather the delay. The Nets already have a mostly finished roster, and even if they didn’t, they don’t have much flexibility to change it now.
At this point, most of all, Brooklyn needs a coach. When the Nets let P.J. Carlesimo go, Brooklyn general manager Billy King said, via Bontemps:
“We’re going to take our time,” the GM said. “If it takes a month, it’ll take a month.”
That was nearly a month ago. For Hollins, it might take another month.