4:51pm: The deal is official, the team announced on its website.
“Following an open and honest dialogue with Dave, it became clear that Dave was fully committed to Memphis and we are committed to him,” Pera said as part of the statement. “I look forward to seeing Dave build upon the foundation he helped establish over the last seven years, and we are both committed to bringing a championship to Memphis.”
4:04pm: The fifth-year team option includes a raise over his salaries in the first four seasons of the contract, as Sam Amick of USA Today reports (on Twitter). Joerger has been set to make close to $2MM a year.
4:00pm: Memphis agreed to guarantee what had been a fourth-year team option on Joerger’s deal and add a fifth-year team option, tweets Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal.
3:47pm: The Grizzlies and coach Dave Joerger have agreed to a two-year extension, reports Eric Hasseltine of SiriusXM NBA Radio, who spoke with with Joerger this afternoon on 92.9 ESPN Radio in Memphis (Twitter links). Joerger already had two seasons left at more than $2MM, but Grizzlies owner Robert Pera reportedly “improved” the deal this weekend amid a reconciliation that forestalled Joerger from leaving the team to take the Wolves head coaching job.
The deal is the latest outgrowth of Pera’s decision eight days ago to dismiss CEO Jason Levien and assistant GM Stu Lash. Memphis brass reportedly saw Joerger as a “Levien guy”, and Pera was prepared to fire the first-year coach earlier this season. There was supposedly mutual “hate” between Joerger and team attorney-turned-scouting director David Mincberg, whose role within the basketball operations department appeared to grow and just as quickly shrink within recent days.
Joerger, a Minnesota native, interviewed with Wolves president of basketball ops Flip Saunders, with whom the Grizzlies coach is close, as well as Wolves owner Glen Taylor. He appeared well on his way to filling their vacancy before he met with Pera this past weekend and, in a stunning turn, agreed to remain in Memphis. The Grizzlies went 50-32 and took the Thunder to seven games in the first round of the playoffs this past season, Joerger’s first as an NBA head coach.