Grizzlies coaching rumors: Memphis to interview Blazers assistant Nate Tibbetts for head-coaching job

After firing J.B. Bickerstaff following the 2018-19 season, the Memphis Grizzlies are continuing their search for a new head coach. 

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According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Memphis has been granted permission to interview Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Nate Tibbetts for their head-coaching vacancy. Tibbetts has served as an assistant with the Trail Blazers since the 2013-14 season, and was an assistant with the Cleveland Cavaliers before that.

The Grizzlies aren’t the first team to take a look at Tibbetts this offseason. The Cleveland Cavaliers were also granted permission to talk to Tibbetts about their own opening before ultimately hiring former Michigan head coach John Beilein. 

Memphis also recently interviewed Toronto Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin, per Wojnarowski. Griffin became an assistant coach immediately following his retirement as an NBA player in 2008, and he spent time on the bench with the Bucks, Bulls, Magic, and Thunder before joining Nick Nurse’s staff in Toronto as the Raptors’ lead assistant last summer.  

The Grizzlies have also previously interviewed Warriors assistant Jarron Collins, as well as Utah Jazz assistant Alex Jensen and former Phoenix Suns head coach Igor Kokoskov

After missing the playoffs for two straight seasons, Memphis will be looking to turn things around and climb back into the Western Conference playoff picture under their new head coach. They are the final franchise in the league without a head coach at this point in time, though they are likely to make a final decision before offseason action — like the draft and free agency — gets underway. 

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