12:30pm: It’s a three-year deal with a team option on the final season, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com. It appears as though the terms kick in for this coming season, though that’s not entirely clear.
11:16am: The Grizzlies have signed Chris Wallace to a multiyear extension and dropped the interim tag from his GM job, the team announced via press release. The team had applied the interim tag to Wallace’s GM title earlier this offseason when it parted ways with former CEO Jason Levien, although it represented a return to power for Wallace, who had retained the title of GM even during virtual exile from the organization.
“We are very pleased to announce Chris Wallace as our general manager,” owner Robert Pera said in the team’s statement. “Chris has been at the forefront and a stable presence throughout some of the Grizzlies’ greatest successes. His strong bonds and experience, not only within the organization and NBA but also within the Memphis and Mid-South communities, make him the ideal fit to lead our basketball operations. We believe Chris’ skills and expertise to be vital in our continued success of our franchise.”
A report late Monday indicated that Memphis had reached agreement with Ed Stefanski to serve as the team’s executive vice president of player personnel, a role that would make him an assistant to Wallace. The extension seems to confirm that Wallace will remain in charge of the team’s front office, even though the Grizzlies had apparently been seeking a “GM-in-waiting” to eventually take over for him.
Wallace first became the GM of the Grizzlies in 2007, but even though he didn’t lose his job when Levien came aboard with the sale of the team to Pera in 2012, Wallace went nearly a year without stepping foot in Grizzlies offices. Pera nonetheless emerged as an apparent fan of Wallace’s, saying shortly after Levien’s departure that he wanted to retain Wallace in some form or fashion even if he wouldn’t return to his role as head of the club’s basketball department. More recently, Pera said that he might promote Wallace to president of basketball operations, but it appears as though that job will remain vacant and Wallace will head the front office with his familiar job title of GM.