According to Marc Stein of ESPN and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the Wolves are getting closer to hiring Dave Joerger away from the Memphis Grizzlies, although former Wolf Sam Mitchell and former Grizzlies’ head coach Lionel Hollins are also in the mix as of Thursday afternoon.
More twists and turns are sure to be on the way, but it sounds like Joerger wants to coach the Wolves and Minnesota wants Joerger. The only potential hang-up at this point could be any compensation that Memphis might want from the Wolves.
One wouldn’t think that the Grizzlies could ask for much, as Joerger wants out (but understandably doesn’t want to forfeit his multi-year contract) and Memphis wants him out (but doesn’t want to fire him and still be paying him), but the real worry is that Saunders and the Wolves’ front office could decide to simply hire a “free agent” coach like Mitchell or Hollins and avoid the issue of compensation altogether.
Here’s hoping that the compensation can be settled on quickly…something like cash or a second-round pick. Players are not allowed to be traded as part of compensation for coaches, as we all learned when Doc Rivers was shipped from Boston to Los Angeles. It was not a possibility, according to league rules, for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to go with him to the West Coast as part of that off-season of moves for the Clippers.
There will surely be more developments this afternoon, so check back for updates.