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Report: John Calipari getting Kentucky contract extension that makes NBA jump less likely

Phoenix Suns v New Orleans Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 30: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans and John Calipari Head Coach of the University of Kentucky speak before a game against the Phoenix Suns on December 30, 2014 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)

Layne Murdoch

John Calipari reportedly “desperately” wants to coach in the NBA.

Kentucky is trying to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Calipari will reportedly get a contract extension that pays nearly $8 million per year through 2022. It’s unclear whether his buyout, which was previously $0, changes as a result. But the extension reportedly includes a $1.6 million bonus if Calipari remains at Kentucky on July 1.

That would take Calipari past the peak of the NBA’s coach-hiring season, but not fully off the market.

Jason Kidd (Bucks), Lionel Hollins (Nets) and Byron Scott (Lakers) all got hired after July 1 last year. Notably, Brad Stevens (Celtics) jumped from college to the pros after July 1 the year prior.

The Pelicans have an opening after firing Monty Williams and two former Calipari players in Anthony Davis (Kentucky) and Tyreke Evans. Cleveland – i.e., LeBron James – doesn’t seem totally sold on David Blatt. Remember, the Cavaliers pursued Calipari last summer, and the coach is close with LeBron.

The Nuggets and Magic don’t necessarily need previous Calipari ties to pursue him, and other jobs will likely open this offseason.

A $1.6 million bonus on July 1 certainly makes it more likely Calipari remains at Kentucky. But if Calipari finds a situation he likes, I doubt $1.6 million will keep him from the NBA – and there’s a chance he won’t have to choose between the two.