Grizzlies sign Chris Wallace to multi-year contract extension

MEMPHIS, June 20, 2010 —The Memphis Grizzlies signed General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced today.

“My family and I are very happy here in Memphis,” Wallace said after the Grizzlies’ pre-draft workout this morning at the Coventry Health Care Practice Facility at FedExForum. “We love this city and would love to be here a long time running. The team made real strides last year. I really like working with our front office, Head Coach Lionel Hollins and (owner) Michael Heisley. We're excited to stay here.”

Wallace, who joined the organization on June 18, 2007, was instrumental in building a Grizzlies roster that recorded a 16-game improvement in 2009-10, second only to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Last July, Wallace engineered a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers for forward Zach Randolph, who set or tied 16 franchise records en route to his first career All-Star appearance in his first season in Memphis. A nine-year NBA veteran, Randolph balanced a roster that was the youngest in the league at the start of the 2009-10 season.

Under Wallace, the Grizzlies have also made bold moves to add guard O.J. Mayo and center Marc Gasol to their promising young core. Mayo earned 2008-09 All-Rookie First Team honors after finishing second only to Chicago’s Derrick Rose in the 2008-09 NBA Rookie of the Year voting. Gasol was named to the 2008-09 All-Rookie Second Team and tied for the runner-up for the 2009-10 NBA Most Improved Player Award behind Houston’s Aaron Brooks.

Wallace, who just completed his 23rd season in the NBA ranks, came to the Grizzlies as one of the most respected executives in the league, having served under six NBA franchises since 1986 (Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers). Wallace has worked with five former Executive of the Year winners, including Red Auerbach, Danny Ainge, Jerry West, Bucky Buckwalter and Geoff Petrie.