Dave Joerger Rejects Minnesota Timberwolves to Remain with Grizzlies

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 25, 2014

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Updates from Tuesday, May 27

The Grizzlies released a statement on head coach Dave Joerger's contract extension. Owner Robert Pera spoke about the deal:

I am excited to announce that we have reached an agreement to extend Dave Joerger as the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies,” Controlling Owner Robert Pera said. “Following an open and honest dialogue with Dave, it became clear that Dave was fully committed to Memphis and we are committed to him. I look forward to seeing Dave build upon the foundation he helped establish over the last seven years, and we are both committed to bringing a championship to Memphis.

The report also features comments from Joerger:

I am absolutely thrilled to continue as the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies for years to come,” Joerger said. “I want to thank Robert Pera for believing in me. I look forward to building on the success we experienced this year with our core group of players that I have worked closely with over the past seven years as we work towards our ultimate goal of winning a world championship. I am 100 percent committed to leading the Grizzlies and I could not be more proud to call Memphis home.

The radio voice of the Memphis Grizzlies, Eric Hasseltine, has an update on Joerger's standing with the team: 

Sam Amick of USA Today provides contract details:

Chris Vernon, who hosts The Chris Vernon Show, has more from Joerger:

Rob Fischer of Fox Sports reveals more about the Timberwolves' failed pursuit of Joerger:

Updates from Monday, May 26

Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune reports reasons Dave Joerger likely remained with the Grizzlies:

According to NBA sources, Pera improved Joerger’s contract and assured him his future remained in Memphis after the Wolves and Grizzlies likely had differing ideas about what compensation, if any, would be due should the Wolves hire a coach still under contract.

Original Text

Memphis Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger won't be going anywhere after all. The presumed frontrunner to fill the Minnesota Timberwolves' head coaching vacancy has seemingly decided to stay where he is.

NBA insider David Aldridge was the first to break the news:

Joerger's agent also told The Commercial Appeal in Memphis that his client was sticking with the Grizzlies, per Ronald Tillery:

Owner Robert J. Pera briefly talked about Joerger's decision in a Twitter Q&A:

Tillery briefly spoke with Joerger about his decision: 

Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports what the Grizzlies' next step is:

In Joerger's first season with the Grizzlies, the team finished with a 50-32 regular-season record, which was good enough for seventh in the Western Conference. His job was even more impressive when you consider injuries limited Marc Gasol to 59 games in the regular season.

Most expected Memphis to fall off with the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year out, but under Joerger's stewardship, the Grizzlies remained competitive enough to stay in the playoff hunt.

Despite that relative success, his position with the organization grew tenuous after team CEO Jason Levien and assistant general manager Stu Lash were fired earlier in May. Since Levien had been one of the strongest voices behind the hiring of Joerger, the head coach's future was in doubt, ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported.

Two days after the ousters of Levien and Lash, Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis-St. Paul reported that the Grizzlies' relations with Joerger had reached the point of no return. The only problem was how his dismissal would be handled:

In order to let Joerger out of his existing four-year deal, Memphis was looking for modest compensation:

On Saturday, Wojnarowski reported that Minnesota team owner Glen Taylor had met with Joerger and that the T-Wolves had begun discussions with the Grizzlies as to what it might take to pry the head coach out of Memphis:

For whatever reason(s), however, Joerger has chosen to remain with the Grizzlies.

USA Today's Sam Amick believes this story likely still has a few twists and turns left:

Stein suggests that the Timberwolves felt compensating the Grizzlies is unnecessary, given Joerger's current standing in the organization:

Sean Highkin of Sports on Earth posited that Joerger and the T-Wolves might be forcing Memphis' hand in order to make his road to Minneapolis a little easier:

Amick feels that Minnesota is in control of the situation and waiting for the Grizzlies to make the next move:

Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix thinks that Joerger's time in Memphis is over either way:

It remains to be seen where Joerger and the Grizzlies go from here. Only time will tell as the two parties try to push forward with the goal of competing for a championship.

With Joerger staying in Memphis, the team can push forward with a clearer vision for the offseason. Some sense of stability among the coaching ranks could potentially help the Grizzlies attract complementary pieces in free agency. 

As Mannix alluded to, Memphis may not be out of the woods yet in terms of Joerger's future. The squad should feel more secure now than it did earlier this week, though.


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