NBA News and Rumors

3 Most Likely NBA Teams to Hire John Calipari as Head Coach

Isaiah De Los Santos
Three likely NBA teams who could hire Kentucky's John Calipari as their new head coach.
Three likely NBA teams who could hire Kentucky's John Calipari as their new head coach. / Andy Lyons/Getty Images
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NBA teams around the league have wasted no time in making major changes this offseason. There are now six head-coaching vacancies around the league in the Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, Indiana Pacers, New Orleans Pelicans, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards.

One name that's popping up in the rumor mill as a potential candidate is storied Kentucky head coach John Calipari. Here's three teams who could pursue Calipari for his second NBA stint.

John Calipari NBA Coach

3. New Orleans Pelicans

Calipari was linked to the Pelicans once upon a time while Anthony Davis was in town, and he possibly makes sense now. New Orleans just parted ways with Stan Van Gundy in his first season after players were reportedly unhappy with him. There's also reports of Zion Williamson's family being upset about the organization's failure to build around the star. Calipari, an ace recruiter, could be the kind of convincing voice Williamson and his family need to feel optimistic about his Pelicans future. Calipari's reputation as a players-first coach could help New Orleans get the most out of their players as they look to finally realize their potential.

2. Boston Celtics

Boston shook things up this offseason by elevating Brad Stevens from head coach to the front office, opening up an intriguing gig. This team -- led by stars on the wing in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown -- is positioned to contend now, so it's easy to see them going for an experienced coach. Well, Calipari started his head-coaching career in 1988 and has enjoyed serious success at the collegiate level with UMass, Memphis and Kentucky. Stevens hailed from the college game as well, riding his tournament runs at Butler to Boston, and he may be excited at the chance to work with a legend like Calipari. It's hard to see the Kentucky head coach leaving unless the offer is intriguing, and the Celtics' star duo could be a serious selling point.

1. Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic have alternated between collecting top picks in the NBA Draft and first-round playoff exits for nearly a decade. Long removed from the days of being Eastern Conference contenders, the team has lacked stability between coaching changes and draft picks turning out as busts. Now Orlando will look for its next head coach after moving on from Steve Clifford. The Magic's moves at the trade deadline signaled a clear rebuild, and Calipari's roster-building experience at the collegiate level would be a huge asset for Orlando. He could use his NBA ties and reputation to try to draw talent to a team that isn't a thriving free-agent destination. And his connections to the college game should give Magic a boost in scouting come draft time. He's the perfect established head coach to give this team an identity that it's recently lacked.


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Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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