The Grizzlies' 2012/13 season ended last night in Memphis, and now that the team has been eliminated, rival clubs in search of a head coach figure to waste no time in pursuing Lionel Hollins. According to ESPN.com's Marc Stein, the Clippers and Nets are expected to request permission to speak to Hollins shortly, while Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports adds the Bucks to list of the teams hoping to talk to the Grizzlies coach.
For his part though, Hollins would prefer to remain in Memphis and continue on as the Grizzlies' coach, sources tell Spears. Hollins confirmed as much in a text to Spears: "I hope things get worked out quickly. I love our team and the possibilities."
Although there seemed to be a disconnect between Hollins and the team's new management group earlier in the season, Memphis would like to work something out with the coach, according to both Spears and Stein. Hollins will meet with Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien this week to discuss the coach's future, though it's unclear if the club will offer an extension at that point, says Spears. The Grizzlies do have the right to deny other teams permission to speak to Hollins until his current contract expires on June 30th.
While the Grizzlies would like to keep Hollins, it's unclear if they'd be able to compete with a big-money offer from a rival suitor. An aggressive offer from the Nets and owner Mikhail Prokhorov would be the "worst-case scenario" for Memphis, according to Stein. Either way, Hollins looks like he'll receive a nice raise on a '12/13 salary that Spears says was worth $2.3MM. Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld says there's a growing sense Hollins could end up somewhere besides Memphis due to his increasing price tag.
If the Grizzlies were to lose Hollins, assistant coach Dave Joerger would receive "strong consideration" to replace him, writes Stein. As for the Clippers and Nets, both teams are expected to pursue Brian Shaw among other candidates, while Kelvin Sampson and Larry Drew are reportedly finalists for the Bucks' opening.