John Calipari wasted little time in responding to a rumor of his possible return to the NBA sidelines. On Wednesday, Yahoo Sports included Calipari in a list of possible coaches who may be looking to take one of the vacant NBA jobs. The Yahoo report said that Cal “would be open to jumping back into the NBA.” The Kentucky head coach shot down rumors with a post on social media:
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Calipari is a bit of a surprise here, but multiple sources tell Yahoo Sports Calipari would be open to jumping back into the NBA. He had a taste in the late 90s, taking over the then-New Jersey Nets following a stint at UMass that didn’t go particularly well. But the changing dynamics at Kentucky, along with the massive expectations from the fan base and alumni, could have him looking for a second bite.
“He may have maxed out at Kentucky,” a high-ranking executive told Yahoo Sports. “College basketball is a sinking ship,” another executive told Yahoo Sports. “He is much different than his first go-round but that ego is hard to tame.”
During an interview with Joe Beningo and Evan Roberts on WFAN Sports Radio in New York, David Falk talked up the Knicks and Calipari. “I’m waiting for — I’ll take bets on how long it’s going to take before they hire John Calipari to be the next coach,” Falk said. “I’d say 30 seconds. And I hope it works. I’m rooting for him to make it work.”
“I really hope the Knicks get a lot better,” Falk said. “If my boy ‘World Wide Wes’ — who I’ve known forever — is a part of the package, he’s one of the great personalities I’ve ever met. Really well-connected guy. Really interesting person. I really hope it works. And I will take bets — despite the denials — I will take bets on Calipari being the (Knicks) coach next year.”
Even Knicks wing Kevin Knox, who played for Calipari at Kentucky during the 2017-2018 season, doesn’t think Calipari would leave Kentucky for New York or the NBA. “When Cal says he’s not going to do something, he’s pretty solid he’s not going to do it,” Knox told reporters when asked. “I think he’s came out with multiple reports saying he didn’t want to do it. Cal loves Kentucky. He runs that state, the fans love him there. He’s got the basketball program on lock there, so I don’t think he will leave that opportunity to keep helping kids get to the NBA.”
Jeff Goodman: Kentucky spokesman confirms to @Stadium John Calipari agrees to a long-term deal with the school to “finish his career at Kentucky.” There was NO shot Cal was ever going to UCLA. Only way he leaves UK is for an NBA job — and it would have to be a good NBA job.
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August 2, 2021 | 7:07 am EDT Update
There is a strong possibility that Howard returns for a third go-around with the Lakers. Howard won a title with the Lakers in 2020, but he bolted to the 76ers last season. Now, there appears to be interest on both sides to have Howard back for his physical and defensive play. Howard, 35, averaged 7.0 points and 8.4 rebounds in 17.3 minutes last season in Philadelphia, his 17th in the NBA.
Barry Jackson: ESPN reports tonight that New Orleans and Dallas – two Lowry suitors – have begun to look elsewhere for point guards. The Dragic/Achiuwa package should get this done for Lowry barring any late issues; Achiuwa hasn’t yet been informed because talks can’t begin until 6 p.m. Monday.
Donatas Urbonas: Ignas Brazdeikis will play for the Orlando Magic in the NBA Summer League, per sources. Brazdeikis averaged 11.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 2 assists in 8 NBA games with Orlando last season.
Rob Schaefer: Zach LaVine on keeping up with Bulls’ free agency from Tokyo: “I should have a good idea what’s going on. I take that very serious, keep up to date with what’s going on back home, but obviously still get my rest cause we got a game tomorrow. One way or another I’ll find out.”
August 2, 2021 | 1:19 am EDT Update
“It looks like [Kawhi] is expected to re-sign with the Clippers, but sources informed me that he will listen to other teams.” @ChrisBHaynes on Kawhi Leonard’s free agency
Sources tell cleveland.com the Cavs are no longer expected to pursue Los Angeles Lakers free agent guard Alex Caruso or Indiana Pacers pesky reserve TJ McConnell — both of whom will garner interest from several suitors and could command the full mid-level exception, which starts around $9.5 million.