Report: Wolves have made 'significant progress' with Joerger

By James Herbert | NBA writer

Dave Joerger replaced Lionel Hollins in Memphis last summer. (USATSI)

More Offseason Analysis: Coaching changes, news | Free Agency | Draft

UPDATE: According to Yahoo Sports' Marc Spears, Dave Joerger is not the Timberwolves' only candidate but will interview with them on Thursday:

And according to the Associated Press' Jon Krawczynski, Minnesota should not have a problem with compensation:

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The Minnesota Timberwolves have made "significant progress" and are "gathering momentum" in their bid to pry away Memphis Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein.

The Wolves are restricted to offering draft picks and/or cash to Memphis to free Joerger from his contract with the Grizzlies. But one source said Thursday that Joerger landing in his home state with the Wolves is "the way this thing is headed."

Joerger reportedly emerged as a frontrunner this week, after Memphis parted ways with CEO Jason Levien -- the man who hired Joerger -- and assistant general manager Stu Lash. The coach has a long history with Timberwolves president Flip Saunders and is a Minnesota native.

The Grizzlies went 50-32 under Joerger this season, making it to the playoffs despite a slow start and a significant injury to big man Marc Gasol. Memphis owner Robert Pera had to be talked out of dismissing Joerger before the team turned it around, according to ESPN.

After the front-office shakeup, it looks like the Grizzlies are fine with moving in a different direction but do not want to fire Joerger. If Memphis can get some compensation in a deal, all parties could end up getting what they want. It remains unclear exactly why the Grizzlies are going this route, though.

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