Kentucky fans may be rejoicing in having John Calipari for many years to come, but Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Big Blue Nation almost lost Calipari to the NBA.
According to reports, Calipari and the Cavaliers had mad progress on a seven-year, $60 million deal to become the Cavaliers head coach and team president.
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.
Calipari reportedly was intrigued by the idea of coaching Kyrie Irving, having the No. 1 pick and possibly swaying LeBron James back to Cleveland.