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Grizzlies OK Wolves To Interview Dave Joerger

1:45pm: The Grizzlies will probably seek compensation if the Wolves decide to hire Joerger, but it wouldn’t be a first-round draft pick, Zgoda tweets, and Memphis isn’t looking to stand in the way, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

12:59pm: The Timberwolves spoke with Izzo last night, but there’s no chance now that he’ll take the Minnesota job, according to Dan Barreiro of KFAN (Twitter link; hat tip to Zgoda).

12:53pm: The Wolves made their request for permission to speak with Joerger prior to this week’s front office chaos in Memphis, though it’s unclear if the Grizzlies gave Minnesota the green light before the turmoil began, reports Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter links). Joerger is set to interview with the Wolves on Thursday, Amick adds.

12:19pm: Joerger is scheduled to interview with the Wolves within the next 24 hours, Wojnarowski tweets.

11:23am: It appears Joerger is at odds with Grizzlies scouting director David Mincberg, as they share mutual “hate,” tweets Geoff Calkins of The Commercial Appeal.

10:27am: Joerger appears to be the favorite at this point, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link), and his affection for the state of Minnesota runs deep, Stein tweets.

9:59am: The Grizzlies have granted the Wolves permission to interview coach Dave Joerger for their coaching vacancy, reports Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. Joerger is eager to leave Memphis and Grizzlies ownership wants him out, too, but neither side wants to vacate his multiyear contract, according to Zgoda. Joerger has two years left on a three-year deal with Memphis that’s worth approximately $6MM. Joerger apparently received assurances from the attorney for Grizzlies owner Robert Pera that he would remain as coach of the team in the wake of the front office turmoil in Memphis, but it seems there’s mutual interest in a parting of ways. Wolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders has a longstanding relationship with Joerger, who grew up in Minnesota, and the interview will probably take place later this week, Zgoda hears.

Joerger just finished his first season as Grizzlies coach, overcoming concerns about his readiness for the job early in the season and an injury to Marc Gasol to complete a late run at 50 wins. Memphis pushed the Thunder to seven games in the opening round of the playoffs, but the success masked turmoil within the organization that’s come to light this week.

Marc Stein of first suggested earlier this week that Joerger would become a coaching candidate for the Wolves if the Grizzlies let him go.  The club had reportedly been waiting on Tuesday’s draft lottery for clarity, and with the No. 13 picked locked in, it seems Saunders and company are ready to move forward. The same weekend report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports that noted openness toward trading Kevin Love identified Sam Mitchell as a coaching candidate. Saunders interviewed Lionel Hollins several weeks ago, and though a report two weeks ago indicated that the team was waiting on an answer from Michigan State coach Tom Izzo before proceeding, the team isn’t holding back from looking at others.

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