Report: Grizzlies to hire Bucks assistant Taylor Jenkins as head coach

The <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/teams/memphis/" data-ylk="slk:Memphis Grizzlies">Memphis Grizzlies</a> are expected to hire <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/teams/milwaukee/" data-ylk="slk:Bucks">Bucks</a> assistant Taylor Jenkins as their next head coach. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
The Memphis Grizzlies are expected to hire Bucks assistant Taylor Jenkins as their next head coach. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

The final NBA head-coaching vacancy has reportedly been filled.

According to ESPN, the Memphis Grizzlies are hiring Taylor Jenkins, a Milwaukee Bucks assistant, as their next head coach. Jenkins spent the past six seasons as an assistant under Mike Budenholzer — this past year in Milwaukee and the five previous seasons with the Atlanta Hawks.

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Jenkins also has experience as a head coach when he led the Austin Toros, the San Antonio Spurs’ G League affiliate, to the playoffs in the 2012-13 season. Before being elevated to head coach, he spent four seasons as a Toros assistant following a stint in the basketball operations department for the Spurs.

Now that he has landed the Memphis job, Jenkins is the third Budenholzer assistant to earn an NBA head-coaching job, joining Quin Snyder (Utah Jazz) and Kenny Atkinson (Brooklyn Nets). Budenholzer, of course, earned his shot as a head coach after 18 seasons working under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio.

In Memphis, Jenkins inherits a roster that features veteran point guard Mike Conley and big man Jaren Jackson Jr., the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 draft. Jackson averaged 13.8 points per game as a rookie. The Grizzlies again hold the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft and are expected to select explosive point guard Ja Morant out of Murray State.

According to ESPN, Jenkins met with Memphis’ revamped front office three times during the franchise’s coaching search to replace J.B. Bickerstaff, who was fired April 11 after just one season in the role full-time.

Perhaps it was Jenkins’ protection abilities that ultimately put him over the top for the Grizzlies’ brass.

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