John Calipari rumors will not die: He denies new report he’s interested in Pelicans job

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Is there a federal law that says Kentucky coach John Calipari must be linked to any NBA coaching opening?

There’s an obvious connection between Calipari and the New Orleans Pelicans job — Anthony Davis. He’s a former Kentucky player who will lift this franchise up as long as they can hold on to him. Davis makes New Orleans the best open job on the market.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Calipari has interest in becoming the Pelicans’ next coach, replacing Monty Williams (who was let go last week).

Given the opportunity to reunite with star forward Anthony Davis, Kentucky coach John Calipari has made it known to New Orleans Pelicans officials that he’s interested in the team’s vacant head-coaching job, a source close to Calipari said Tuesday.

It didn’t take long for Calipari to deny the reports.

A couple thoughts here.

First, it’s not an accident that Calipari’s name comes up in so many coaching searches — people in his camp like to keep his name in the news this way, both to impress recruits and squeeze more money out of Kentucky. This pattern will continue from now until the zombie apocalypse.

Second, I doubt the Pelicans and Calipari could come to a deal. There’s a financial reason, which John Reid explains well at the Times-Picayune.

League sources said the Pelicans are willing to pay around $4 million to $5 million per season for Monty Williams’ successor…. But Calipari makes about $8 million annually and recently agreed to a one-year contract extension through 2022, which he hasn’t yet signed.

It should be noted $4 million to $5 million nay not be enough to land Tom Thibodeau either, he makes $4.5 million a year now but Orlando would offer more.

The other issue with striking a deal in New Orleans is power. Dell Demps is entrenched as the GM and is the guy driving the coaching search, but if Calipari comes back to the NBA he will want player-personnel say. He’s not getting that in the Big Easy.

But keep the Calipari rumors coming.