The Memphis Grizzlies are interested in one of the EuroLeague’s rising coaching stars, Lithuania’s Sarunas Jasikevicius, and plan to meet with him soon, league sources told ESPN.
The Grizzlies’ coaching search, which Executive VP of Basketball Operations Zach Kleiman is running, is still largely in the early stages, league sources said.
Jasikevicius, 43, has rapidly built a reputation as a legitimate NBA head-coaching candidate in his three seasons as coach of Zalgiris in Lithuania.
Known for a strong-willed leadership style and teams that exhibit elite ball movement and offensive execution, Jasikevicius has so far shown an ability to get his Lithuanian and EuroLeague teams to overachieve. Toronto president Masai Ujiri interviewed Jasikevicius for the Raptors’ head-coaching opening last year, and his name keeps coming up with NBA general managers as a possible NBA coaching candidate.
Along with a decorated EuroLeague playing career, Jasikevicius played two seasons in the NBA with Indiana and Golden State, as well as four years at the University of Maryland for Naismith Hall of Fame coach Gary Williams. He also attended a year of high school in the United States and speaks fluent English.
Memphis fired coach JB Bickerstaff after a 33-49 season.