Cleveland, OH, United States (4E Sports) – The Cleveland Cavaliers offered Kentucky coach John Calipari a 10-year contract worth nearly $80 million that included the role of coach and team president, according to sources.
However, the Cavs’ offer came too late as Calipari signed a new seven-year deal with Kentucky worth $52.5 million, all of which is guaranteed, in April.
Kentucky’s new deal with Calipari was completed in April and that the Cavs’ proposal was made within the past two weeks.
According to sources, part of Cleveland’s motivation to chase Calipari for its job was the belief that hiring him will entice LeBron James to return to his home state in free agency this summer. Calipari and James are close friends.
But Calipari, like UConn’s Kevin Ollie before him, ultimately resisted Cleveland’s overtures.
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has been highly motivated to recruit a marquee coach to be the new face of the franchise, but Calipari and Ollie are off the market now thanks to the new contracts at their respective schools.
Florida’s Billy Donovan and Michigan State’s Tom Izzo also rebuffed the Cavs during the current college basketball offseason.