Lionel Hollins says he wants to be back in Memphis next year, but plans on being "very, very realistic" about his future. He notes as well that no one from the Grizzlies has approached him about that future.
Meanwhile, the man who will negotiate a contract with Hollins, CEO Jason Levien said of the coach with the best record in Grizzlies history, "we admire the job he's done."
Doesn't exactly sound like a love affair or a done deal, does it?
"Hopefully, I will be here," Hollins said Wednesday. "I love the guys. I love this city and the fans and everybody associated with the team. But we've got to be very, very realistic in what the future holds."
And that wasn't the end of it. When Hollins was asked if he “may” negotiate with other teams if the Grizzlies don’t present a satisfactory offer, he said, “Not 'may.' Will. We can be clear about that one.”
Levien was complimentary but non-committal. "Certainly, we admire the job he's done. He's been very helpful and very positive," Levien said, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Among the things Hollins reportedly wants to know before making a commitment is what Levien plans to do with the roster. Levien traded away Rudy Gay on Jan. 30, the second trade clearing up space away from the luxury tax threshold. That's not something Hollins would have to worry about with Mikhail Prokhorov, at least for the foreseeable future.
The Grizzlies must also decide whether they want to pay Tony Allen, a two-time All-Defensive team member, retain Jerryd Bayless, who has a team option, and trade Zach Randolph who is owed $34 million over the next two years.
Not everyone thinks the Nets would hire Hollins. Peter Vecsey, who has a good track record on reading the Nets' thinking, tweeted early Thursday morning that Hollins may not be what the Nets want in a coach.
Cannot envision BK hiring Hollins. His personality is to dominate players. That worked w Conley & Gasol. Not so with Deron & Lopez.— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) May 30, 2013
- Lionel Hollins hopes to return to Memphis Grizzlies - ESPN
Hollins could be available for Nets - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Grizzlies CEO dances around questions about bringing back Nets target Hollins as coach - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Grizzlies face decisions after Western finals loss - Grizzlies face decisions after Western finals loss - Teresa M. Walker - AP
- On Hollins' uncertain future, Bayless' likely departure, and much more - Geoff Calkins - Memphis Commercial Appeal
- Hollins insists rumors about his future with team didn’t distract Grizzlies - Andre Johnson - Memphis Sport
- The Memphis Grizzlies? Gone till November - Kelly Dwyer - Yahoo! Sports
- With Grizzlies done, all eyes turn to Lionel Hollins - Sean Deveney - Sporting News