This won't be a full blown coaching candidate piece, as I want to get the news up on the site quickly, but the Wolves are reportedly interested in Dave Joerger, the current coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, for their head coaching job.
The Grizzlies are in disarray, as they recently fired their CEO Jason Levien and assistant GM in a surprise decision by the owner Robert Para. Para was said to be unhappy with Joerger early in the season, though the Grizzlies turned things around once Marc Gasol returned from injury and finished with 50 wins before taking the Thunder to seven games in a scintillating first round series.
Joerger has extensive Minnesota ties, having gone to high school in the state and playing for two years at Concordia College. He has had a long relationship with Flip Saunders, and thus fits one of the apparent criteria for the job. Jerry Zgoda, who has the report, noted on his blog:
Joerger as a young coach nearly 20 years ago often attended Flip's Wolves practices at Target Center and took notes.
He also appears to be a very competent coach. He was very successful as a head coach in the minor leagues before becoming an assistant in Memphis in 2007. In 2011, he took over as lead assistant in charge of defense under Lionel Hollins. The defense immediately improved to become one of the best in the league over the following seasons, and Joerger took over as head coach when Hollins was let go following the 2012-13 season.
This morning, Jerry Zgoda reported:
The Wolves have been given permission to talk to Memphis coach Dave Joerger and will probably do so by the end of the week, according to a league source.
It is unclear whether any compensation would be required if the Wolves want to hire Joerger, but they apparently want him out and would be happy not to have to pay him for the remaining years on his contract.
Hopefully the Wolves can make this work, as Joerger is certainly more appealing to me than many of the other names that have been floated.
What do you think?