Grizzlies sign coach Taylor Jenkins to multi-year contract extension

Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins
Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

When the Grizzlies hired him as coach three years ago, Taylor Jenkins wasn’t even the most-heralded Bucks assistant. (That was Darvin Ham, whom the Lakers just hired this year.)

But Jenkins has earned credit while overseeing Memphis’ rise, finishing second for Coach of the Year this season.

Now, he’s getting rewarded with a contract extension.

Grizzlies release:

The Memphis Grizzlies today announced the team signed Head Coach Taylor Jenkins to a multi-year contract extension.

Taylor has done an outstanding job leading our team and this extension is well-deserved. The year-over-year progress under Taylor speaks for itself, but his growth-oriented, selfless and competitive approach has been a driving force in the establishment of a sustainable culture. We have full confidence that Taylor will steer us to Memphis’ first championship.

EVP of Basketball Operations and General Manager Zachary Z. Kleiman

Jenkins has two major feathers in his cap:

He empowered Ja Morant, who has ascended into stardom.

Memphis went 20-5 without Morant in the regular season.

The Grizzlies have been a deep, young team. Credit Jenkins for developing and integrating so many pieces. Memphis has built an image as a tough, high-motor, athletic team.

But the plan is evolving.

With success comes greater expectations. The Grizzlies must eventually lean more heavily on their best players and, ideally, consolidate depth for another high-level performer. Getting through long regular seasons to peak in the playoffs is becoming the priority.

Is Jenkins up to coaching Memphis through that phase?

He has more than earned the opportunity.