John Calipari has been rumored for at least one NBA job ever since his first year with the Kentucky Wildcats, and that won't be changing anytime soon.
The latest rumor of Cal considering a jump to the pros involves the Brooklyn Nets following a massive shake up their franchise is having. That involves the firing of head coach Lionel Hollins and the 'reassigning' of general manager Billy King.
Both moves leave open the possibility that a new coach could come in and have complete control of the team, which has long been rumored to be what Calipari wanted if he were to ever take control of an NBA team.
We've seen plenty of Calipari/NBA rumors over the years that have had no substance, but this does not appear to be one of them, especially when Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski is dropping a Woj bomb like this:
Twenty years ago, the Nets stunned everyone with a five-year, $15 million contract for the UMass coach. For Calipari to consider the Nets – and, yes, the Sacramento Kings, too – league sources tell Yahoo Sports that the teams have been informed of his asking price: 10 years, $120 million.
When Calipari spoke with minority ownership in Sacramento last spring, he told them that it would take an offer of $11 million-plus a year to get his attention, league sources said. Calipari turned down a 10-year, $80 million-plus offer with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014, because he wouldn't leave Kentucky with only an incremental raise on what is now an $8 million to $9 million annual package on campus.
Cleveland's offer has become a baseline for Calipari's contractual demands: He wants the 10 years and now the $12 million a year that Phil Jackson makes to run the Knicks.
The latest Calipari-to-the-NBA buzz is loud enough that he's even getting the back-page treatment in the New York Daily News:
Here's our @nydnsports back page. @nets @kentuckymbb #johncalipari @packers @seahawks @APSE_sportmedia pic.twitter.com/aCwM3ny2f0— Back Page Guy NYDN (@BackPageGuyNYDN) January 11, 2016
At the end of the day, I do think Calipari probably has tossed out something to the degree of, 'if you want me, you're going to have to pay me A LOT to leave Kentucky,' when NBA teams have inquired about him.
Let's face it, if someone is willing to pay Cal that kind of money (assuming most of it is guaranteed), then he should at least consider it, if not take it. The problem is it's hard to see someone actually offering a college coach $12+ million per season to run an NBA team.
If someone offers you another job elsewhere, while you may have no intention in taking it, wouldn't you at least like to know how much said company thinks you're worth?
Calipari is human, and having his ego stroked with an NBA team offering him everything is not something that should surprise anyone.
Now, when/if a franchise like the Cavaliers or another NBA championship contender is willing to offer him that much, then I would be nervous about Cal leaving.
Until then, let the bottom-feeding franchises like the Nets and Kings stroke Cal's ego.