Before accepting a massive, seven-year contract extension with Kentucky last week worth $52 million, head coach John Calipari had extended talks with the Cleveland Cavaliers about taking over as president and head coach of the organization.
The news was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski and Brett Dawson of Yahoo Sports on Monday morning.
It’s not all that surprising that Cal would consider a move to Cleveland. Let’s start with the basics: the Cavs have one of the most talented players in the NBA in Kyrie Irving and also just so happen to hold the rights to the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Irving and one of Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid or Jabari Parker would be enough to entice just about any coach to consider a move, and that’s before you consider that a return to the NBA is something that Cal has always seemed to be pining for.
And remember last month, when that random interview with a Cleveland newspaper resulted in headlines across the internet about how much Cal would like to coach LeBron James? You don’t think visions of coaching the best player on the planet in his return to his hometown danced through Cal’s head?
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter.
Cal signed a seven-year deal with the Wildcats, and, at the very least, used the interest he was getting from Cleveland as leverage to become the second-highest paid coach in the collegiate ranks. And if he’s not leaving for a job that gives him young and talented platers, full control and a massive salary, what job would he realistically leave for at the next level?
Kentucky will enter next season as the No. 1 team in the country, as they only lost Julius Randle and James Young from a team that made the national title game.