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#pounditSaturday, June 3, 2023

Report: Kings have had discussions with John Calipari

John Calipari

John Calipari finds his name wrapped up in the NBA rumor mill every offseason, but the newest situation he has been linked to is complicated even by his standards.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports that the Sacramento Kings have been in contact with Calipari to gauge his interest in taking over the team’s front-office and coaching jobs. Calipari has reportedly listened to scenarios in which he would be given complete control of Sacramento’s basketball operations and presumably coach the team.

Wojnarowski adds that no formal offer has been made, though the Kings understand it would likely take an average annual salary of roughly $10 million to lure Calipari away from Kentucky.

On Wednesday morning, Calipari once again denied having any interest in leaving the Wildcats.

“For the 100th time, I have the best basketball coaching position in the world. I am not looking for any other coaching position,” he wrote on Twitter. “Since he bought the team, (Ranadive) and I have talked on and off about (Cousins). Vivek has asked me what I thought about (Cousins) and I told him he would be an all-star, and I was right. In the last two weeks, we’ve also talked a bunch about the draft and on draft day, obviously because of (Willie Cauley-Stein).

“At no time has (Ranadive) offered me a job. I WILL BE AT KENTUCKY.”

Calipari signed a seven-year, $54 million extension with Kentucky last year.

In many ways, the rumors make sense. Kings owner Vivek Ranadive is said to be extremely frustrated with head coach George Karl’s insistence on trading DeMarcus Cousins. Karl, who was hired by the Kings in February, has been shopping Cousins in trade talks without permission from his bosses.

Interestingly enough, Cousins played his one season of college ball for Calipari at Kentucky. Ranadive reportedly feels that hiring Calipari would please Cousins and be enough to convince him to not want to leave Sacramento for a certain team that is interested in acquiring him.

Karl has been on the job for just four months with the Kings, but Woj is reporting that the team is already exploring ways to get out of the three years and $10 million guaranteed remaining on the veteran coach’s contract.

As we saw with the last NBA job Calipari turned down, the speculation is never going to stop. While the Kings could very well get rid of Karl, it seems unlikely that they will be able to convince Calipari to leave Kentucky.


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