The Memphis Grizzlies have granted Lionel Hollins permission to speak with other teams about head coaching opportunities after a series of discussions on a long-term deal failed to result in an agreement, league sources told CBSSports.com on Sunday. Hollins, who coached the Grizzlies to a 56-win regular season and a trip to the Western Conference finals, has a contract that expires June 30. He met with members of the Grizzlies' front office on Thursday in what were described as "positive discussions," according to one person briefed on the matter. The dialogue has continued with Hollins' agent, Warren LeGarie, for the past few days. It has been widely known in league circles for months that Hollins and the Grizzlies' new ownership group and front office do not see eye-to-eye in key philosophical areas. Given that philosophical gap, and the belief within the organization that lead assistant Dave Joerger is ready to be promoted to head coach, the team on Sunday granted permission for Hollins to explore other openings. The Nets have had Hollins on their radar for some time and are virtually certain to reach out to him, league sources said, and the Clippers also are interested in speaking with Hollins. Though one person familiar with the discussions between Hollins and the Grizzlies said, "The door's not closed," few in the coaching industry believe Hollins will be available for long. In a Memphis radio interview on Monday, Hollins expressed surprise that he'd been granted permission to speak with other teams and called the notion of replacing him with Joerger "ludicrous." "I don't want to talk to any other teams," Hollins said on WHBQ in Memphis. "I want to be here. ... I told the media after our exit interviews that if the team offered me a contract that I felt was fair, I'd sign it the next day.” As for Joerger -- who also is represented by LeGarie -- Hollins said, "Why would you move a proven coach, who has shown what he can do to bring in an 'upcoming superstar?' To me, that's ludicrous. … It's puzzling when I hear comments like that."
Grizzlies' Hollins surprised he's on the outs, calls plan 'ludicrous'
CBS Sports | Jun 3