Miami Heat

Report: Heat’s Smart expected to join Grizzlies staff

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, left, talks with former assistant coach Keith Smart, center, and former coach David Fizdale. Smart will reportedly join Fizdale’s staff in Memphis.
Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, left, talks with former assistant coach Keith Smart, center, and former coach David Fizdale. Smart will reportedly join Fizdale’s staff in Memphis. dsantiago@elnuevoherald.com

The Heat has granted the Memphis Grizzlies permission to interview assistant coach Keith Smart for a position on David Fizdale’s new staff.

ESPN reported late Thursday night that Smart was expected to join the Grizzlies staff.

Thursday's news comes only days after the Heat denied the Grizzlies permission to interview Dan Craig, who coached the Heat's minor-league affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, to the NBA's Developmental League championship this year. Craig is expected to become coach Erik Spoelstra's lead assistant with Juwan Howard and Chris Quinn rounding out the other two assistant spots on the Heat bench.

Smart, 51, missed a large chunk of the 2015-2016 regular season as he fought a rare form of skin cancer before returning in time for the playoffs. Smart previously coached with Fizdale when the two were assistants with the Golden State Warriors in 2003-04. The Grizzlies announced Wednesday they hired former Rockets coach J.B. Bickerstaff to be associate head coach and Nick Van Exel as an assistant.

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