MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Grizzlies controlling owner Robert Pera has removed the interim tag and named Chris Wallace as Memphis’ general manager, signing him to a multi-year contract keeping him with the franchise.
Pera announced the deal Tuesday but did not disclose any terms. Wallace had been serving as interim general manager since a front office shake-up May 19.
"Chris has been at the forefront and a stable presence throughout some of the Grizzlies’ greatest successes," Pera said in a statement. "His strong bonds and experience, not only within the organization and NBA but also within the Memphis and Mid-South communities, make him the ideal fit to lead our basketball operations. We believe Chris’ skills and expertise to be vital in our continued success of our franchise."
Wallace originally was hired as general manager and vice president of basketball operations in June 2007, and he put together the core that has gone to a team-record four straight playoff berths and reached the Grizzlies’ first Western Conference final in 2013. He drafted Mike Conley, brought in Zach Randolph who has been a two-time All Star in Memphis, traded for Marc Gasol and signed Tony Allen as a free agent.
As the interim general manager, Wallace helped since Vince Carter as a free agent earlier this month and oversaw the June draft that brought in Jordan Adams and Jarnell Stokes.
"Robert Pera is strongly committed to the success of the Grizzlies, and I am excited to continue working in tandem with Robert, our front office and our coaching staff in helping realize his vision for the franchise," Wallace said.
Memphis is the seventh NBA franchise Wallace has worked with in his career. He spent 10 seasons as general manager of the Boston Celtics, was director of player personnel in the last of his four seasons with Miami and also has worked for the Knicks, Clippers, Nuggets and Trail Blazers.
The Grizzlies later announced that Ed Stefanski also is joining the team as executive vice president of player personnel. Wallace said on radio that Stefanski, a former general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers whose last job was with Toronto, will be based in Philadelphia where he has a home.