NBA Rumors: Blazers Assistant Nate Tibbetts to Interview for Grizzlies HC Job

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2019

SACRAMENTO, CA - JANUARY 14: Assistant coach Nate Tibbetts of the Portland Trail Blazers coaches against the Sacramento Kings on January 14, 2019 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Rocky Widner/Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies are reportedly eyeing someone in the Western Conference Finals for their vacant head coaching position. 

On Monday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the Portland Trail Blazers gave the Grizzlies permission to interview assistant coach Nate Tibbetts for their head coaching vacancy. The position is open because Memphis fired J.B. Bickerstaff following the 2018-19 campaign.

Tibbetts has been an assistant coach with the Trail Blazers since the 2013-14 season and was an assistant for the Cleveland Cavaliers before that.

The Grizzlies aren't the first team to see Tibbetts as a potential fit at head coach this offseason.

Wojnarowski reported in April the Trail Blazers granted the Cleveland Cavaliers permission to interview him before they ultimately decided on former Michigan coach John Beilein.

The Grizzlies are moving toward the future after missing the playoffs the last two years, especially since veteran leader Mike Conley has an early termination option in his contract following the upcoming season.

That future became much brighter on May 14 when they were rewarded with the No. 2 overall pick at the NBA draft lottery. That means they will likely have the chance to select either Ja Morant or RJ Barrett and team him with Jaren Jackson Jr. as a duo to build around.

That could be an enticing situation for Tibbetts or any potential candidate. NBC Sports Northwest noted former Phoenix Suns head coach Igor Kokoskov and Utah Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen were also linked to the opening.

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