By Lee Eric Smith
The Memphis Grizzlies have indeed hired Miami Heat assistant coach David Fizdale as their new head coach, multiple media outlets are reporting.
Reportedly, the team and coach agreed on a four-year deal on Thursday. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Fizdale, who has spent the past eight years as an assistnat coach with the Miami Heat, brings a reputation for boosting offenses and developing players — two areas where the Grizzlies are in desperate need of upgrades.
Quoting a source “familiar with the negotiations,” the Associated Press reported that Fizdale met with Grizzlies controlling owner Robert Pera on Wednesday in California and that the job had been offered.
Fizdale replaces Dave Joerger, fired May 7 after three seasons and three playoff berths. This would be Fizdale’s first head coaching job. He has been with the Heat since the 2008-09 season and has been assistant head coach the past two seasons.
Guard Mario Chalmers, who played for Fizdale with the Heat before being traded to Memphis last November, approved of the move.
“Fizz to Memphis huh. I like that move. Great coach and even a better person. Happy for my guy Fizz,” Chalmers wrote on Twitter.
In Miami, Fizdale helped with player development and game preparation. He also coached the Heat’s summer league in 2010 and 2012.
He also was an assistant coach with Golden State in 2003-04 and the Atlanta Hawks between 2004 and 2008. He started coaching as an assistant at his alma mater, the University of San Diego, in 1998 through 2002 where he was a three-year starter at point guard.
Memphis also considered former Grizzlies and Nets coach Lionel Hollins, Charlotte assistant Patrick Ewing, Portland assistant Nate Tibbets, Spurs assistants James Borrego and Ettore Messina and Frank Vogel.
The Grizzlies have the NBA’s third-longest postseason streak currently at six straight seasons behind only San Antonio (19) and Atlanta (9).
Joerger was hired by Sacramento two days after being fired by Memphis. The Grizzlies used an NBA-record 28 players in going 42-40 to still reach the playoffs only to be swept in the first round by San Antonio.
The Grizzlies are waiting for center Marc Gasol’s broken right foot to heal after his season ended in February. Point guard Mike Conley is due to become a free agent after left Achilles tendinitis ended his season in early March, and Memphis also has to decide whether to exercise the option on Lance Stephenson and if they should keep Vince Carter, JaMychal Green and Xavier Munford.
AP Writers Teresa M. Walker and Tim Reynolds contributed to this report.