Memphis Grizzlies reportedly hire Bucks’ assistant Taylor Jenkins as head coach

Getty Images

Memphis is tapping the Spurs/Gregg Popovich coaching tree, hoping to find the next Mike Budenholzer or Quin Snyder or Kenny Atkinson.

Milwaukee assistant coach Taylor Jenkins will be the new head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Memphis let go of JB Bickerstaff after a 36-46 season, then conducted a wide-ranging two-month search to find their guy.

Memphis is rebuilding after the grit n’ grind era, but they have a good core to start with, having drafted Jaren Jackson Jr. last year — he made NBA All-Rookie First Team — and they are expected to pick up point guard Ja Morant with the No. 2 pick in this coming draft. It’s also likely they will trade Mike Conley this summer for players and picks to help jumpstart that rebuilding process.

Memphis is going to be a player development, rebuilding kind of coaching job. That may make this a good fit, Jenkin’s reputation is as a teacher whose specialty is development of young players. Budenholzer and the coaches out of his tree (an extension of the Spurs tree, where Budenholzer was a coach for many years) have some of the best player development programs in the NBA. Look at the leaps made by guys in Utah and Brooklyn.

Jenkins seems a smart roll of the dice by the Grizzlies. As long as ownership and management sticks with the plan, there is real reason for hope in Memphis.