John Calipari weighed offer from Cleveland Cavaliers before signing new UK deal

| June 9, 2014 | 1 Comment

 

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UPDATE

It turns out the deal may have been bigger than originally reported:

A 10-year deal with an annual salary of $8 million is a crazy offer. If that’s true, Calipari effectively turned down somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 million extra to join the Cavs instead of re-sign with UK.  Then again, it’s unclear how much of Cleveland’s’ offer was guaranteed. 

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Sources told Yahoo! Sports that John Calipari was in deep negotiations with the Cleveland Cavaliers before signing a new extension with the Kentucky Wildcats.

The offer, according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Brett Dawson, was for $60 million over seven years:

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert had been persistent in his pursuit and kept returning to Calipari in an effort to deliver full control of basketball operations, sources said.

Gilbert and Calipari had discussed a package in the range of $8 million-plus a year, sources said, and it wasn’t until midweek that Calipari finally rejected Cleveland and fully committed to his seven-year, $52 million extension at Kentucky.

If Calipari had gone to Cleveland, the plan would’ve been for new general manager David Griffin to work with Calipari in the front office, but he would’ve ceded final decisions on personnel matters to Calipari, sources said.

There probably is at least some truth to this rumor, but it may have been nothing more than a negotiating ploy to get a better deal at UK.

Calipari does still have a bad taste in his mouth from his first NBA head-coaching job, and he does hate the thought of being regarded as a failure at his only shot at coaching in the pros. He held the titles of president and coach with the New Jersey Nets from 1996-99, reaching the playoffs once before getting fired.

In the end, he’s still at UK, and probably will be for at least another 3-4 years.  Cats fans can breathe a huge sigh of relief for the time being.

 

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