Report: Wolves have made 'significant progress' toward hiring Joerger
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Dave Joerger, while currently the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, could very well be the next coach of the Timberwolves.
Minnesota has made "significant progress" in its attempt to hire Joerger away from the Grizzlies, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein, who cited a source close to the process.
The teams are still working out compensation, Stein reports, which could a sticking point because Joerger remains under contract with Memphis. Many believe, however, that Joerger was going to be fired anyway, despite winning 50 games in his first season and making the playoffs.
Stein says short of the compensation details, "Minnesota fast-moving bid to make Joerger its next coach is gathering momentum."
Memphis recently fired its CEO, Jason Levien, and assistant general manager, Stu Lash, and also granted the Wolves permission to interview Joerger.
Joerger, if you haven't heard, is from Staples, Minn., and attended college at Concordia and Moorhead State. Flip Saunders is noted as one of Joerger's coaching mentors.
The other person considered a top candidate to replace the retired Rick Adelman is former Wolves player Sam Mitchell.
Here's a fascinating excerpt from Stein's report, which makes it sound like it won't be difficult to work out that compensation package for Memphis to let Joerger leave:
"ESPN.com reported Monday that one of the triggers in the breakdown between Grizzlies owner Robert Pera and Levien -- who helped broker Pera's purchase of the team from the late Michael Heisley in June 2012 -- centered on Pera's dissatisfaction with Joerger. Sources say Pera contemplated firing Joerger early in his first season but was ultimately talked out of it..."
Or, to put it another way:
If Memphis pushes too far on compensation for Dave Joerger, Minny's stance will be this: We will wait for you to fire him, make hire later.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 22, 2014
One final note, it sounds like the meeting between Saunders and Joerger went well Thursday.
After meeting with Flip Saunders today, next up for Memphis coach Dave Joerger will be weekend visit with owner Glen Taylor, sources tell Y.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 22, 2014
Basically at this point all Joerger has to do is hit it off with Glen. His job to lose.— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) May 22, 2014