by Kevin Lipe
Adrian Wojarowski of The Vertical is reporting that Miami Heat assistant (and director of player development) David Fizdale has agreed to a four-year deal to become the next head coach of the Grizzlies.
Fizdale comes highly touted (as discussed by Chris Herrington earlier this morning) as a good communicator, a well-liked "player's coach", and he has a reputation as being a good coach for player development—something with which the Grizzlies have struggled for the past several seasons.
I'll have more on this news tomorrow, but my immediate, gut-level reaction is this: you never know what kind of head coach an assistant is going to be. My personal preference might have been for someone who is more of an "X's and O's" guru, someone to be the overall strategist, but communication is important, and player development is absolutely critical to the future success of the Grizzlies, whether Mike Conley returns this summer or not. I think this hire shows that they Grizzlies are thinking strategically about where they are and where they're going, at least at the coaching level.
As I wrote in my column in this week's Flyer, this is only one of three big things the Grizzlies need to get right this summer, and each one is important to being a competitive team next year. I think this is a step in the right direction, with the caveat that Fizdale is untested. As for the rest, and for what this hire means for the Grizzlies' long-term plans... more on that to come.