2:21pm: The Grizzlies have officially confirmed that they’ve hired Jenkins as their new head coach.
“We are excited to welcome Taylor Jenkins to the Grizzlies organization,” Kleiman said in a statement. “Taylor has an excellent coaching pedigree and we are confident he will lay the groundwork of developing the young players on our roster while having the elite basketball acumen and forward-thinking positive vision to be a high-level NBA head coach.”
10:48am: The Grizzlies‘ lengthy coaching search has come to an end, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports that the club is hiring Bucks assistant Taylor Jenkins as its new head coach. Memphis had been the last NBA team with a head coaching vacancy.
Jenkins spent several seasons with the Spurs beginning in 2007, eventually being promoted to the head coach of the franchise’s G League team in Austin. Following his time in San Antonio, he joined Mike Budenholzer‘s staff in Atlanta, serving as a Hawks assistant beginning in 2013. A year ago, he made the move to Milwaukee, once again working under Budenholzer as an assistant for the Bucks.
As Wojnarowski points out, Jenkins will become the third NBA head coach to be hired directly off Budenholzer’s staff. Quin Snyder (Jazz) and Kenny Atkinson (Nets) were assistants in Atlanta before joining their current teams.
Jenkins, who met with the Grizzlies three times during their search process, per Wojnarowski, was one of several reported candidates to interview the position. Alex Jensen, Jarron Collins, Igor Kokoskov, Nate Tibbetts, and Adrian Griffin were among the others who spoke to Memphis about the job, while Sarunas Jasikevicius was said to have received consideration as well.
Word of J.B. Bickerstaff‘s dismissal broke on April 11, so the Grizzlies spent two months searching for his replacement. It’s the first major decision made by the new management group led by team president Jason Wexler and executive VP of basketball operations Zach Kleiman.
Jenkins will assume control of a Grizzlies team that appears headed for a rebuild around 2018’s No. 4 overall pick Jaren Jackson Jr. and 2019’s probable No. 2 overall pick Ja Morant. Franchise point guard Mike Conley remains under contract for two years, but he’s expected to be a trade candidate this summer if Memphis looks to reboot around its young cornerstones.