Sacramento Kings interested in hiring John Calipari, Cal shoots down rumors

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USA TODAY

An NBA league source has told Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski that the Sacramento Kings are talking with Kentucky head coach John Calipari about his interest in a major role in the franchise. Talks have expanded to Calipari having complete control of the organization along with a head coaching position. These talks started after the rift between current Kings coach George Karl and star player DeMarcus Cousins. No contract has been offered to Calipari from the Kings.

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Calipari is known as a top coach and recruiter in college basketball. NBA stars he has coached outside of Kentucky are Marcus Camby (UMass), Derrick Rose (Memphis), and Tyreke Evans (Memphis). At Kentucky, Calipari has coached Eric Bledsoe, DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall, Brandon Knight, Enes Kanter, Terrence Jones, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Anthony Davis, Nerlens Noel, and Julius Randle. In the 2015 NBA Draft, Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Trey Lyles, Devin Booker, Andrew Harrison, and Dakari Johnson were drafted out of Kentucky. Cauley-Stein was drafted by the Kings.

In Calipari’s career at Kentucky, his record is 190-37 (.837) with four Final Four’s and a National Championship. He was rewarded a season ago with a seven-year, $52 million extension.

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(AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli)

The Sacramento Kings aren’t the only team that has been interested in Calipari. Last season, before LeBron James decided to come home, Calipari received an 7 yr/$60 million contract  offer from the Cleveland Cavaliers which he turned down. There was also some interest with the New Orleans Pelicans this season, but the Pelicans only wanted him as a head coach. Alvin Gentry is now the head coach in New Orleans.

To get Calipari into the NBA, the Kings are going to have to pay the price. Halfway through the 2014-2015 NBA season, the Sacramento Kings signed coach Karl to a four-year contract. Ever since he has been there, Cousins has been unhappy. Karl wants him traded while owner Vivek Ranadive wants to keep their franchise player. The Kings have thought about firing Karl over these disputes.

Ranadive is sick of the Sacramento Kings losing. He wants to find success as soon as next season, and he believes Calipari is the answer. With Calipari, Cousins will be reunited with his college coach. This would give Cousins a stable NBA coach for the first time in his career. With Cauley-Stein, he would be back in a two big man system where he found success at the college level. Calipari would make Sacramento a destination for pending free agents.

As of right now, Calipari is staying in Kentucky next season. He took to Twitter to express his anger over constant NBA rumors:

The Kings could still potentially fire Karl and offer Calipari a massive contract. With Kentucky’s success and the Kings downfall, Calipari seems content with continuing the college basketball powerhouse he has built in Kentucky.

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