Kentucky Basketball: John Calipari To The Cavaliers

Ronald Martinez

Could John Calipari leave Kentucky for the Cleveland Cavaliers? No.

At the risk of dirtying my semi-anonymous online name, I'm going to say the University of Kentucky coach John Calipari taking the Cleveland Cavaliers is so wrong it's laughable. Yet Fox Sports reports the Cavs are interested:

The Cavaliers are interested in the University of Kentucky's John Calipari as a candidate for their head coaching vacancy, sources familiar with the team's search told FOX Sports Ohio on Wednesday.


[T]he Cavs, and owner Dan Gilbert in particular, have long had an interest in Calipari, dating back to 2010, when then-Cavs star LeBron James was about to enter free agency. Calipari and James are close.

Calipari may surprise us all and go to the Cavs but that seems very hard to believe on a number of levels. Where to begin?

  • Cal's son is a senior in high school, and Cal's probably reluctant to uproot himself and family this coming season.
  • Next season's Kentucky team may have the most talent in the Calipari Era, and that's a high bar even for Cal. Be a national title contender or compete for the last playoff spot in the East?
  • The NBA lottery isn't established yet (May 20th) so who knows at which position Cleveland will pick. I doubt Cal would sign onto an unknown that plays so prominently.
  • The Cavs unquestionable franchise player is Kyrie Irving and there's no guarantee that he'll re-sign with Cleveland this summer.
  • Gambling Lebron decides for a homecoming to OH after next season.

A lot has to go right for Cleveland fans to sign any top-shelf coach. Meanwhile, re-sign Irving to a max contract, woo Lebron back with the exact same ownership he left before, and Bingo Presto...

So, I doubt Cal would leave a college team with a very strong possibility of competing for a national title for a NBA team that what exactly? Potentially not resign its franchise player, potentially miss out on the lottery, and go on to miss the playoffs next year?  That's a tough environment to walk into, and the NBA has demonstrated there is no patience for head coaches. Not sure that's a choice even the ambitious Calipari would want.

Then again, we already assumed that, right?

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