The Memphis Grizzlies have found their man to lead the team.
Taylor Jenkins has been named the new head coach, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He was previously an assistant under Milwaukee Bucks’ head coach Mike Budenholzer for the past five seasons (Atlanta Hawks 2013-2018, Bucks 2018- 2019).
Prior to his time as an assistant, Jenkins was both a coach and an assistant for the Austin Toros of the G League. This will be his first gig as a head coach in the NBA .
Jenkins will fill in for J.B. Bickerstaff, who was fired after two seasons with the team. The organization overhauled their front-office this off-season, demoting general manager Chris Wallace to scout and promoting Tayshaun Prince to vice president of basketball affairs.
He’ll be the third apple to land a position from Budenholzer’s coaching tree with Quinn Snyder (Utah) and Kenny Atkinson (Brooklyn) coming before them. Both coaches led their teams to the playoffs this past season.
Memphis’ best building blocks at the moment are still long time point guard Mike Conley and last year’s No. 4 pick Jaren Jackson Jr. They also possess the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Conley still has two years left on the max deal he signed in 2016, but with thought to be traded at the deadline this past year similar to how veteran big man Marc Gasol was.
However, the team held on to the former No. 4 pick. It’s been widely rumored they intend to draft his predecessor in Murray State’s Ja Morant since the NBA Draft Lottery.
The team has struggled to build a roster as they’ve dealt with a plethora of turnover on their roster, setting and tying their own record for most used players in a season at 28 in respective seasons.
Jenkins will have a tall task of leading the Grizzlies back to the playoffs in a tough Western Conference. Memphis has missed the postseason the past two seasons after making it the prior seven.