The Grizzlies have signed executive VP of basketball operations/general manager Zach Kleinman to a long-term contract extension, the team announced Thursday night.
“Zach has proven to be a strong cultural leader in this organization, consistently demonstrating high-integrity, hard-work, humility and a drive for continuous improvement,” said Grizzlies owner Robert Pera. “We have confidence in our strategy and believe it will result in an elite organization over the long-term.”
The Grizzlies are coming off a run to the playoffs as the Western Conference’s eighth seed. After winning Game 1, Memphis dropped four straight.
Still, the Grizzlies (38-34) showed promise for the future, finishing with a winning record and beating the Spurs and Warriors in the play-in tournament to earn a postseason berth.
With the likes of point guard Ja Morant, guard/forward Dillon Brooks and power forward Jaren Jackson Jr., Kleinman has put a strong young around which to build.
Along with drafting Morant and Jackson, Kleinman was responsible for hiring coach Taylor Jenkins and trading Marc Gasol to the Raptors for current starting center Jonas Valanciunas, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski noted.
Kleinman originally started with the Grizzlies in a team counsel role, before becoming assistant GM under Chris Wallace in 2018. He was promoted to executive VP/GM in April 2019 after the team parted ways with Wallace.
Exact terms of Kleinman’s deal were not announced.