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Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Updated: May 31, 8:36 AM ET
Report: Grizzlies agree to three-year deal with Iavaroni

ESPN.com news services

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis Grizzlies, looking for a coach who can help the team work its way up from the bottom of the NBA, have set a "major announcement" for Thursday amid newspaper reports they are hiring Phoenix Suns assistant Marc Iavaroni.

The Grizzlies declined to provide more details about the news conference. The Commercial Appeal newspaper, citing unidentified sources close to the search, reported that the Grizzlies have agreed to a three-year deal with Iavaroni.

A news conference is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET Thursday. An assistant to Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley told The Associated Press he was unavailable for comment.

Iavaroni, who joined the Suns coaching staff in 2002, is a 14-year veteran of the NBA as a player and coach.

He was an assistant and director of player development for the Miami Heat under Pat Riley before joining the Suns.

Memphis finished the season at 22-60, for the worst record in the league, and ended up a disappointing fourth in the June 28 draft lottery.

At 6-24, the Grizzlies fired former coach Mike Fratello in December, replacing him with Tony Barone Sr., the team's director of player personnel. Barone's appointment was announced as temporary and he is expected to return to non-coaching duties with the franchise.

The disappointing season, which began with star Pau Gasol sidelined with a foot injury, followed three straight trips to the NBA playoffs.

The Grizzlies moved to Memphis in 2001 and under president Jerry West, who joined the team the following year, made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history in 2004.

The Grizzlies were swept in all three playoff appearances, however, and have the league's longest postseason losing streak.

West has said he will leave the Grizzlies when his contract expires July 1.

Iavaroni was an NBA player from 1982-1989 with Philadelphia, San Antonio and Utah.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.