It’s been no secret that former Memphis Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger has been looking at other jobs for some time; that’s at least part of the reason the Grizzlies organization opted to part ways with him — as dumb as that was, frankly. However, Joerger’s wish to coach elsewhere in the league looks like it’s taking shape.
The Sacramento Bee reports that Joerger interviewed with the Kings on Sunday, and that the organization is moving forward with a list of finalists this week. Per ESPN.com, Joerger is one of those finalists and will interview with the Kings again on Monday:
A second round of talks between Dave Joerger and the Sacramento Kings has been scheduled for Monday, after substantive discussions on Sunday about the Kings’ coaching vacancy, according to league sources.
Sources told ESPN.com that Joerger and Kings vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac held lengthy and productive meetings on Mother’s Day in Sacramento, in the wake of Joerger’s abrupt dismissal by the Memphis Grizzlies.
The ESPN report hedges a bit with a line that nothing is done until it’s done, but that both “sides are working toward a four-year deal valued in the $16 million range that, barring any snags, is likely to include a team option for the fourth year.”
Joerger had one guaranteed season left on his deal with Memphis and he was incredibly underpaid, especially considering his coaching job this past season. Though depleted by injuries, Joerger managed to keep his team fighting. The Grizzlies finished above .500 and made the playoffs, where they were quickly ousted by the Spurs.
Joerger’s coaching chops speak for themselves. The question would be, assuming he does become the Kings’ choice, how Joerger handles DeMarcus Cousins. The two-time NBA All-Star is a gifted player, but had numerous problems with former Kings coach George Karl. If Joerger’s final press conference with the Grizzlies was any indication, though, he might just be the players’ coach needed to maximize Cousins while keeping the peace.