According to Marlon Mason of the Commercial-Appeal, Memphis has its first choice: coveted Suns assistant Marc Iavaroni.
It's no secret that Grizzlies president of basketball operations Jerry West wants one of his final moves in Memphis to be the hiring of Phoenix Suns assistant coach Marc Iavaroni.Here's why Iavaroni makes a ton of sense with Memphis: he's a vaunted specialist for big men (read: Amare Stoudemire), he's watched the best up-tempo offense in decades for the last few years, and he's young. He's probably the guy Sacramento and Seattle should've chosen last summer, had they not been antsy and retarded, respectively.
And with reports last week that Toronto coach Sam Mitchell was going to get a contract extension to remain with the Raptors, West's chances of landing his target increased. It had long been rumored that Toronto president and general manager Bryan Colangelo wanted to snare Iavaroni to replace Mitchell. That was before Mitchell led the Raptors to their first Atlantic Division title this season.
Ives could have his choice of jobs this summer, provided the Suns don't make it to late June and teams don't rush their coaching decisions. That's what happened with Sacramento last year: Their timeline was a bit too fast, as the Maloofs and Geoff Petrie wanted someone in place to work out players in advance of the draft. Iavaroni was locked up as the Suns battled the Mavericks, so Eric Musselman and Mario Elie (another hot prospect-to-be this summer) were the central candidates. You think Petrie and company wouldn't like to get a do-over on that rush job?
And it isn't as if Memphis is the worst job in the league: the pieces are there, especially considering the Grizz can select no lower than 4th this June barring trades. Seriously: Memphis or Seattle? Which roster would you prefer?
In a few short months, Ives will be an NBA head coach. 'Where' is the only question.