The Minnesota Timberwolves have received permission to speak with current Memphis Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger, who is looking for his next job while the Grizzlies' leadership upheaval continues, according to a source of the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Jerry Zgoda.
Joerger and the T-Wolves could meet by the end of the week.
Memphis owner Robert Pera clashed with CEO Jason Levien and developed a rift with the coaching staff and the front office by becoming more involved in the basketball operations side of the franchise.
Levien, along with assistant general manager Stu Lash, left the Grizzlies earlier this week. It was unclear if president of basketball operations John Hollinger and Joerger would be next to leave the Grizzlies, but the report from Zgoda seems to answer that question. Joerger completed his first season after replacing head coach Lionel Hollins -- whose firing itself was a curious move by Pera -- and he finished the year with 50 wins and a playoff appearance. In the playoffs, Memphis lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder in seven games.
Joerger and Minnesota president Flip Saunders have a relationship that dates back two decades, and the former could be a top candidate to replace Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman, who stepped down.
The Grizzlies granted permission for Joerger to speak with the Timberwolves because they want to make another coaching hire without paying him off, according to a source of Zgoda. At the same time, Joerger wants to secure another job without leaving money on the table.
Earlier this week, sources to ESPN's Marc Stein said that Pera considered firing Joerger a third of the way through the 2013-14 season as the Grizzlies got off to a slow start. There have been reports that Pera could replace Joerger with Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau or Kentucky Wildcats coach John Calipari but nonetheless, the situation in Memphis has continued to become more dicey by the day.
At the same time, the Timberwolves might have found their perfect coach. Incidentally, Joerger is from Staples, Minn.