Calipari, Kentucky close to contract extension

first_imgUK head coach John Calipari applauds his team against Ole Miss during their game at Rupp Arena. Jan. 6, 2014UK head coach John Calipari applauds his team against Ole Miss during their game at Rupp Arena. Jan. 6, 2014LEXINGTON, Ky. – In perhaps a preemptive strike against the latest round of slowly building buzz about John Calipari returning to the NBA, the University of Kentucky and its basketball coach are close to finalizing a contract extension through 2022 worth $8 million annually, a source close to the situation said Tuesday night.Calipari is also set to earn a $1.6 million longevity bonus on July 1, which is part of his existing contract. The new deal, which will pay Calipari $54 million over seven years, should be official in “a few days,” the source said. The coach has led the Wildcats to five Elite Eights, four Final Fours, two NCAA championship games and one national title in six seasons at the helm. Set to be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame this fall, Calipari has received an extension and raise after each Final Four appearance (2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015).He was bumped to $5.2 million annually after the 2012 championship and to an average of $7.5 million a year last June.Calipari done with platoons, perhaps for goodThis latest extension will add one year to his existing contract, which was set to expire in March of 2021. Calipari flirted with a return to the NBA – he was fired as the New Jersey Nets’ coach in 1999 during his third season there – after last season, when the Cleveland Cavaliers expressed interest.Word of this new deal at UK comes on the same day the New Orleans Pelicans, whose franchise player is former Wildcats star and Calipari pupil Anthony Davis, parted ways with their head coach. Coincidence or not, Kentucky has made yet another commitment to keeping Calipari.Over the years, that has proven a costly endeavor. He was hired at Memphis in 2000 at $550,000 a year, which steadily grew to $2.35 million his final season there before UK hired him away at $3.95 million a year in 2009. That number that has likewise ballooned repeatedly. Kyle Tucker can be reached at (502) 582-4361. Follow him on Twitter @KyleTucker_CJ. THE C-J ON THE GO: Download the new Android. iPhone and tablet apps SUBSCRIBE & SAVE: Enjoy a digital only subscription for just $29/yr HOME DELIVERY: Subscribe now and get first three months for price of onelast_img

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