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Updated: May 22nd, 2014 3:24pm
Report: Wolves have made 'significant progress' toward hiring Joerger

Report: Wolves have made 'significant progress' toward hiring Joerger

by Derek Wetmore
1500ESPN.com
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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:

One final note, it sounds like the meeting between Saunders and Joerger went well Thursday.


Derek Wetmore is the senior editor for 1500ESPN.com. His previous stops include MLB.com and the Minnesota Daily.
Email Derek | @DerekWetmore
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