Bulls' Pinckney, Grizzlies set for second interview Wednesday

Bulls' Pinckney, Grizzlies set for second interview Wednesday
June 19, 2013, 8:45 am
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Bulls assistant coach Ed Pinckney will have a second interview for the Grizzlies' head-coaching vacancy Wednesday in Memphis, CSNChicago.com has learned.

Pinckney initially interviewed with Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien last week in New York and according to a person with knowledge of the situation, the initial discussions went well enough that Memphis believes the former Villanova star's candidacy warrants further review.

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Also under consideration for the opening are former Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry, who will have his second interview this week, according to the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, and current Grizzlies assistant coach Dave Joerger.

Former Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl is also reportedly a candidate for the position, but according to league sources, Pinckney, Joerger and Gentry are ahead of the 2012-13 NBA Coach of the Year in the process, as the organization's new front office is already familiar with the Memphis assistant and the ex-Phoenix coach, like Pinckney, interviewed with the Grizzlies last week and is slated for a follow-up this week.

Pinckney, a longtime NBA player, joined the Bulls' coaching staff in 2010, when Tom Thibodeau began his tenure in Chicago. Previously, he was an assistant coach at his alma mater, which he led to the 1985 NCAA Championship, as well as a Minnesota Timberwolves aide under Washington Wizards head coach Randy Wittman and ex-Boston Celtics teammate Kevin McHale, now the head coach of the Houston Rockets.

While he's more under-the-radar than many of the coaches vying for jobs in what's already been a tumultuous coaching carousel, Pinckney is highly regarded for his ability to communicate with players and skill-development work.

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In unrelated coaching news, it's been reported that potential trade discussions between the Celtics and Clippers collapsed Tuesday after a weekend that made a deal seem imminent. In a proposed deal, Boston would receive young center DeAndre Jordan, among other assets -- which was the perceived sticking point, as the Clippers were reluctant to give up promising backup point guard Eric Bledsoe or multiple draft picks -- while future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett would be traded to Los Angeles, his offseason home, along with either Jason Terry or Courtney Lee, and the Clippers would be able to sign Doc Rivers to fill the opening created by former Bulls head coach Vinny Del Negro's dismissal.

Now, it appears the Clippers will hire former Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins, Pacers assistant Brian Shaw or ex-Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott. It is unclear whether Rivers will step down and resume his prior career in broadcasting or return to Boston, where the Celtics are poised to enter a rebuilding phase with the uncertain futures of Garnett and fellow veteran Paul Pierce, as well as All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo recovering from ACL surgery.