The final team still in need of a head coach in the NBA was the Memphis Grizzlies after they let J.B. Bickerstaff go after nearly one full season of being the interim coach and then this season as the full-time coach after David Fizdale was let go early last season, the Memphis Grizzlies have made Bucks assistant Taylor Jenkins their head coach
Memphis is coming off of an 11-win improvement this season from the season before, jumping from 22 wins to 33 wins. They also do have some nice young pieces for Jenkins to come in and coach, most notably Jaren Jackson who is coming off of a nice rookie season where he showed a lot of potential defensively, but also showed flashes on offense, being very efficient and making nearly one three per game. His three-point shooting should also improve the longer he’s in the league.
Memphis is clearly in a rebuild but after this next season they only have three players set to be under contract (Mike Conley with a player option, Kyle Anderson and Jaren Jackson). They will also still be responsible for the dead money of Dakari Johnson, but that’s only $459,414.
There have already been rumors of the Grizzlies looking to move Mike Conley this offseason and that wouldn’t be surprising given his high price tag, but they will have to find someone to take on his monstrous contract.
Jenkins has spent six seasons as an NBA assistant coach, five for the Hawks under Mike Budenholzer and then this last season for the Bucks, again under Budenholzer.
I think Mike Budenholzer is a good coach and the fact that he has had Jenkins follow him around wherever he’s been the head coach should be a very good sign for Grizzles fans.
Jenkins also has a front office background, having interned for the Spurs and being involved in the draft process during that time.
This feels like a potentially very sharp move for the Grizzles and they are also looking at drafting Ja Morant with the second overall pick this season to be their future at point guard to pair with Jaren Jackson.
About the move, Vice President of Basketball Operations Zachary Kleiman had the following to say: “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.”
After they presumably draft Morant, they will need to continue to try and add good pieces around him and Jackson, but the most important thing for the Grizzlies and their fans will be patience as they try and go through this rebuild.
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