AP source: Calipari, Kentucky negotiating contract extension
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) A person close to the situation said that coach John Calipari and Kentucky are negotiating a one-year, $8 million contract extension through 2022.
The person said the deal could be completed by the end of the week. The person spoke to The Associated Press Tuesday on the condition of anonymity because the university has not publicly announced any contract negotiations with its sixth-year coach.
Calipari's new contract would pay him $54 million over seven years. He signed a seven-year deal worth $52.5 million last June and will earn a $1.6 million longevity bonus on July 1.
Calipari led top-ranked Kentucky to a school-record 38-0 start last season before the Wildcats lost to Wisconsin in the Final Four. Seven Wildcats left the program soon afterward to enter the NBA draft.
Calipari, 56, was selected as AP's National Coach of the Year and elected to the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame. He will be inducted in September. He has a 190-38 record at Kentucky.
Word of negotiations between Calipari and Kentucky comes on the same day that Monty Williams was fired as coach of the NBA's New Orleans Pelicans, whose roster features former Calipari players Anthony Davis and Tyreke Evans. Davis led Kentucky to its last national championship in 2012 before becoming the No. 1 overall pick in the draft; Evans played for Calipari at Memphis.
Speculation of NBA teams' interest in Calipari occurs almost every spring. He previously coached the New Jersey Nets and was a Philadelphia 76ers assistant before returning to the college ranks with Memphis and then Kentucky, which has produced 19 draft picks including 15 first-rounders during his tenure.
Just last summer, the Cleveland Cavaliers expressed interest in Calipari, who maintains an off-court friendship with superstar veteran forward LeBron James. Calipari agreed to the previous contract extension while James played for the Miami Heat.
James returned to Cleveland after losing to San Antonio in the Finals, and the club hired David Blatt as coach.
A couple of months before that Calipari had been mentioned as a possible candidate to coach the Los Angeles Lakers. He follows every NBA rumor by reiterating his commitment to Kentucky and his players, saying he has the ''best job in the country.''
Calipari's mastery at recruiting and developing so-called ''one-and-done'' players has certainly yielded success at Kentucky and made him one of the highest-paid college coaches.