Kentucky Wildcats: John Calipari’s Extension in Depth


Yesterday, news broke of an extension agreement between Calipari and Kentucky that would keep him at the helm of the Wildcats until 22. The extension also included a $1.6M incentive bonus if he is still the coach come July 1st.

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Interestingly enough, this news broke hours after a pretty attractive job opening arose in the NBA. The New Orléans Pelicans fired Monty Williams, a head coach who had been there for 5 years. The reason this job is so eye-opening for many Kentucky fans? This would put John Calipari in charge of not one, but two of his former players in Tyreke Evans and Anthony Davis.

Although Calipari is most likely to stay in Lexington come next basketball season, fans would not be to blame for having a worry or two, as the Pelicans won’t be the only attractive job on the table for Cal.

"Many of the beat writers covering Kentucky reported within minutes of one another Tuesday that school officials were close to finalizing a one-year, $8 million contract extension with Calipari thatwould run his deal through 2022. Like previous contracts, this one also includes a $1.6 million bonus if Calipari is still the coach of Kentucky on July 1, an extra incentive for him to remain in Lexington.Whereas Calipari’s previous extensions have been formally announced once they became official, word of this one came the same day as the New Orleans Pelicans fired coach Monty Williamsdespite 45 wins and a playoff appearance. That gig could be intriguing to Calipari if New Orleans shows interest due to the presence of two of his former players, blossoming superstar Anthony Davis and ex-University of Memphis guard Tyreke Evans.The New Orleans job is one of several potential jobs with players with ties to Calipari that could become available this spring. A divorce between Tom Thibodeau and Chicago appears imminent barring a deep playoff run from the Bulls, while David Blatt’s longevity in Cleveland could also be determined by how the Cavs fare the next few weeks.Calipari has turned down overtures from NBA franchises before during his Kentucky tenure, but seldom have they boasted a playoff-caliber roster and a potential future league MVP entering his prime. Though Calipari was one of a handful of elite college coaches who passed on the Cleveland job last spring, that was well before anyone was certain LeBron James would return there.There’s no guarantee New Orleans will have any interest in Calipari or any of the other jobs will open, but the contract extension with Kentucky won’t prevent him from talking to an NBA team if he wants. He’s clearly content in Lexington, yet he’s also still free to pursue his dream job should it become available."

A lot to ponder on from here until October. Can the off-season go any faster?

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