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Report: Nets executive would offer John Calipari ‘everything under the sun’


of the Kentucky Wildcats against the Mississippi Rebels at Rupp Arena on January 2, 2016 in Lexington, Kentucky.

Andy Lyons

Who will decide the Nets’ coach for next season – whether it’s keeping Lionel Hollins or hiring someone new?

General manager Billy King’s contract expires this summer, and CSKA Moscow president Andrey Vatutin reportedly could replace him. CEO Brett Yormark plays a key role in the organization. Owner Mikhail Prokhorov looms over everything.

This is to say there’s not much clarity.

But within the greater fog…

Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post (hat tip: Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors)

If Brett Yormark is in charge of decision making, Calipari will undoubtedly be offered everything under the sun to become basketball czar of the Nets. I’ve heard conflicting opinions on whether he’d take it, but that will undoubtedly be the first call if Yormark gets his way.

Calipari was also linked to the Nets and Yormark last year, but as usual, Calipari stayed in college. Calipari has a great job at Kentucky, and it would take a lot for him to leave.

Could Brooklyn offer enough?

Calipari coached the Nets once before, an underwhelming 72-112 stint from 1996-99. I’m sure part of him wants another crack at the NBA.

Brooklyn – with a low talent base and without the draft picks to replenish it – sure could use Calipari’s recruiting skills in free agency. Landing major free agents is the Nets’ only realistic chance of becoming good anytime soon. So, it might be in their best interest to make Calipari a sizable offer. With King’s contract expiring, they could even throw in front-office control.

More than most Calipari rumors, this one seems particularly possible. Bontemps previously covered the Nets, so I trust he has insight into their thinking. I doubt this is merely Calipari’s agent floating something.

But Calipari would probably stay at Kentucky for the same reason he has always stayed at Kentucky: It’s an amazing job, and NBA interest only makes it better. He can use that to leverage a higher salary and impress recruits.