Daily NBA Fix: John Calipari Asking For A King’s — Or Russian Billionaire’s — Ransom

Jan 5, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari during the second half of a game against the LSU Tigers at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 5, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari during the second half of a game against the LSU Tigers at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

With the shakeup in the Brooklyn Nets front office, the rumors of coach John Calipari leaving Kentucky for the NBA have been rekindled.

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How much would it cost the Brooklyn Nets to lure John Calipari back to the NBA?

$According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, $120 million over 10 years. Woj also pointed out where Coach Cal is getting this asking price from:

"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."

Sounds like a lot as Calipari would be one of the league’s highest-paid if this is his price, but he has all the leverage in his favor when it comes to these negotiations. For starters here’s how many picks the Nets have over the next three years: one. But that won’t be as high as it could be as the Celtics have the right to swap picks in 2017.

The other reason Calipari has leverage is why the Nets don’t have those picks. Thanks to a series of deals over the past few seasons, Brooklyn traded picks and other assets for  Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace, Joe JohnsonPaul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry. Only Joe Johnson remain with the team now.

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You’ll notice too those are all a bunch of old guys. Owner Mikhail Prokhorov and general manager Billy King were shooting for the a title — and in a hurry — by trading away their future — a future that could have included Enes Kanter and Damian Lillard, two players taken with those picks that were given away.

But what did the Kings get for all those effort?

Nothing. Limited playoff success is the nicest thing you could say about those moves.

So if the Nets want John Calipari to leave Kentucky, they have to give the college coach everything he wants, as well as a likely verbal agreement that he’ll need time to rebuild the franchise. I also believe Calipari knows he’s in a good spot right now and that a move to the NBA is only a limited step up in prestige as he’s one of the college game’s best and has one of the best jobs there.

The Nets have little to offer Calipari outside of cash because the rebuilding of the franchise is going to take time with so little to work with. Brook Lopez is one of the few pieces that the Nets can build with going forward.

Prokhorov has plenty of money to offer Calipari — and will have to — if he wants Calipari to coach this beleaguered team.

LeBron Has A Very LeBron-like Game Against 76ers

Speaking of badly managed teams, the Philadelphia 76ers played last night and lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers 95-85.

LeBron James led the way with 29 points and nine assists in the contest and his team is streaking once again with seven straight wins. If the Eastern Conference was hoping to catch up with the Cavaliers and challenge them for the top spot, it looks like that time may have already passed.

Last season — like LeBron’s first in Miami — was about growing pains and they damn near won a title. With Kyrie Irving back and the team having a plan for using Kevin Love properly, Cleveland winning the East is inching closer and closer to inevitability.

Porzingis Is The Most-Agile Seven-Footer Ever

In case you haven’t noticed, Kristaps Porzingis is pretty awesome. The seven-foot Latvian has shown us that not only is he a monster around the rim, but he’s going to destroy other big men off the dribble and from range.

The Knicks saw some of that range when the New York Knicks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 101-88.

He’s also allowing his critics to apologize now.

More hoops habit: Every NBA Team's Best Bargain Contract

Though I wonder how wrong Stephen A. Smith feels right now