Yahoo Sports- Prokhorov has drained his franchise’s natural resources – unloading seven first-round and 11 second-round picks in the five-plus years ofdeposed general manager Billy King’s regime. The Nets have no present, no future, no identity. They’re too impatient to hire an accomplished NBA GM and slowly, surely work themselves out of this ditch.
As much as anything, that’s why Nets CEO Brett Yormark is determined to repackage John Calipari as a franchise savior. The Nets couldn’t get star players to sell tickets and TV ratings, so he wants to try a star college coach. Again. Yormark is pushing Prokhorov to reach back to the Nets’ Jersey roots, dust off a failed ’90s experiment and sell it as something sparkling and new. Twenty years ago, the Nets stunned everyone with a five-year, $15 million contract for the UMass coach. For Calipari to consider the Nets – and, yes, the Sacramento Kings, too – league sources tell Yahoo Sports that the teams have been informed of his asking price: 10 years, $120 million.
When Calipari spoke with minority ownership in Sacramento last spring, he told them that it would take an offer of $11 million-plus a year to get his attention, league sources said. Calipari turned down a 10-year, $80 million-plus offer with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014, because he wouldn’t leave Kentucky with only an incremental raise on what is now an $8 million to $9 million annual package on campus.
First of all, holy shit! $120 million to leave his role of God at Kentucky to take over as GM and coach of an NBA team seems crazy, but I mean you almost have to pay it if you are the Nets, right? Like Woj writes, Brooklyn is completely fucked because of their roster and lack of draft picks, so maybe Cal can recruit in the pros like he did in college. And while his first stint in the league was a disaster, I feel like Calipari has some Pete Carroll in him. Learned how today’s players tick while coaching them in college and can do much better in his second stint in the pros.
As a Knicks fan, the thought of John Wall, Boogie Cousins, and/or a gaggle of former Kentucky blue chippers one day playing for Brooklyn isn’t very fun. But there is also the chance that it all blows up in the Nets’ face just like the Chip Kelly situation down in Philly. Because the NBA isn’t the SEC and you can’t just recruit the best players and expect to win a title. I mean even if Prokhorov wants to set luxury tax records, there are checks and balances in the NBA. But regardless of what happens, at least we will see a bunch of pictures from the bad old days of the New Jersey Nets with Kendall Gill and Keith Van Horn until this all potentially falls into place.