The Cleveland Cavaliers are not just getting luck into convincing potential hires to turn around the team.
Before agreeing to remain with the University of Kentucky last week, NBA sources report that the Cleveland Cavaliers and John Calipari were deep into negotiations that would have installed the college mentor as both head coach and team president of the Cavaliers for a minimum of ten years.
Dan Gilbert, Cavaliers owner had been persistent in his goal to install Calipari with full control of basketball operations, with sources saying that an offered salary of almost $80 million dollars was turned down by Calipari. ESPN.com also says that part of Cleveland's drive to chase the coach was to enhance its chances of luring back LeBron James to return to the team that drafted him.
All of the Cavalier's effort went for naught when Calipari finally rejected the offer and chose to fully commit to a seven-year extension at Kentucky.
The Cavaliers' offer was as lucrative as they come for coaches with personnel decision in the organization. The kind of arrangement has been typical in the previous years when team tried to lure veteran and successful coaches such as Doc Rivers of the Los Angeles Clippers and just recently, Stan Van Gundy of the Detroit Pistons.
The Cavaliers offer an intriguing position given that it has young All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, who is also dealing with the prospect of a maximum contract extension, and the pressures of delivering a worthy No.1 overall pick this June 26th after picking Anthony Bennett No. 1, a year ago. Apart from these, there is also the pressure for a new coach to bring the team into the playoffs after multiple years of futility and management's consistent pressure to deliver after LeBron's departure.
The Cavaliers also met recently with other potential hires for the job including Los Angeles Clippers assistants Alvin Gentry and Ty Lue, ex-Memphis coach Lionel Hollins and ex-Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro. Apart from Calipari, Cleveland has also set its eyes on other college coaches such as Michigan State's Tom Izzo and Florida's Billy Donovan.