Dave Joerger to stay in Memphis, Wolves still without coach - KMSP-TV

Dave Joerger to stay in Memphis, Wolves still without coach

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Memphis Grizzles owner Robert Pera took to Twitter to announce head coach and Minnesota native Dave Joerger wants to stay in Memphis.

Joerger met with Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders and owner Glen Taylor this weekend about the club’s open coaching position, but it looks like it’s back to the drawing board for the Wolves.

@RobertPera I think Dave is a great coach. But, personnel has to want to be in Memphis. I know now Dave 100% wants to be here

ESPN sources say Pera will sweeten Joerger’s remaining contract, which runs for two more seasons at about $4 million total.

ESPN.com reported Pera considered firing Joerger earlier this season. Joerger compiled 50 wins in his first season as an NBA head coach, but apparently, he wanted out amid turmoil in the team's front office. Now that former Wolves head coach Rick Adelman has retired after three seasons and rumors are bubbling regarding Kevin Love’s ability to opt out of his contract next season, the Wolves are still looking to fill a vacancy.

Joerger is a longtime student of Saunders who was named Wolves head coach in December of 1995 until he was replaced by Kevin McHale in February 2005.

So, what's next? Most recently, Sam Mitchell's name has popped up -- Mitchell joined the Wolves for their inaugural season in 1989 and stayed with the team until 1992. He served as an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2002-04, head coach for the Toronto Raptors from 2004-08 and assistant coach for the then-New Jersey Nets from 2010-11.

Joerger graduated in 1992 from Staples-Motley High School and went on to play at Concordia College (1993-94) and Moorhead State (1996-97). He’s been a coach ever since his college basketball career starting out with the Dakota Wizards as an assistant coach from 1997-2000. He was promoted to head coach in 2000 and held it until 2004. Joerger spent time in the minor leagues with great success until 2007, and in that time he won an IBA Championship (2001), three CBA Championships (2002, 2004, 2005), an NBA D-League Championship (2007) and was named CBA Coach of the Year twice (2002, 2004).

Joerger’s Grizzles finished seventh in the Western Conference, but lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs after forward Zach Randolph was suspended in Game 7. Plus, the Grizzlies were missing their best player, Marc Gasol, who missed 23 games due to injury.

Love reportedly reached out to the Wolves earlier this month, saying he will opt out of his current contract and that he intends to become an unrestricted free agent after next season, according to ESPN’s Mark Stein.

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