Are the Bulls atop LeBron’s list?

Yes, at least according to Chad Ford’s sources

I keep hearing that the Bulls are atop his list at the moment. That could change, but that’s the word around the league at the moment.

I’m not sure exactly how the Derrick Rose/LeBron James dynamic would work, but there’s no doubt that the Bulls would become an immediate contender with the arrival of LeBron. With Joakim Noah and Luol Deng (a “stretch” four that can play some pick-and-pop with LeBron) rounding out the front line, the Bulls would be in a good spot for years to come. Deng really is more of a small forward, but he can play some power forward if need be.

But would LeBron want to play for a franchise that has been all about Michael Jordan? MJ is LeBron’s hero, but it might be tough walking past that statue of His Airness every day on his way to work. Doesn’t LeBron want his own statue?

Chicago might be a great situation for him, but if he wants a challenge, he should go to the Knicks or Nets, or stay put in Cleveland.

Later, Ford listed his top three landing spots for LeBron…

1. Bulls. 2. Knicks 3. Heat … I think the darkhorse is Dallas who’ll try to acquire him via sign-and-trade. As for the Cavs, it doesn’t look very good at the moment, but things can change. I think owner Dan Gilbert would essentially have to give him the GM job as well to keep him there.

With all the John Calipari rumors flying around, if he gets hired by one of these teams it could be a leading indicator that LeBron is on his way. For what it’s worth, Calipari told blue chip recruit Brandon Knight that he’d be coaching at Kentucky this fall, but does anyone really believe that he’s not exploring his options right now?

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LeBron, Cal to meet in Chicago?

Chad Ford spoke to three GMs just after the Cavs’ loss to the Celtics last night. All three thought that Chicago was LeBron’s most likely landing spot.

In the space of five minutes I heard from three NBA GMs via text, e-mail and phone. All three said that based on the information they have, they believe LeBron will leave the Cavs.

More surprisingly, all of them said they believe the destination will be the Chicago Bulls. Two said they believe that John Calipari will be the Bulls’ new head coach.

One GM went a bit further in a phone call a few minutes later. “I think the Bulls are really going to go for it. Look for them to offer the Cavs Luol Deng in a sign-and-trade for LeBron. That will allow them to retain most of their cap space. Then they’ll go after Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh as well.”

The sign-and-trade scenario involving Deng is interesting, but would the Cavs really want to trade LeBron away, even if it brought Deng into the fold? Deng is all right, but he’s overpaid (~$51 million over the next four years), so the Cavs would be better off blowing up the roster and starting from scratch.

Also, unless they can get 2-3 first round draft picks and/or a great young prospect, I don’t see the Cavs wanting to be the team that traded LeBron away.

John Calipari vs. the Washington Huskies

Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times wrote a scathing column about John Calipari’s shenanigans with regard to UW commit Terrence Jones.

Take Friday, for instance, when Terrence Jones and his best friend Terrence Ross announced at a joint news conference, held at their Portland high school, they were going to play basketball for Washington.

It was a day for celebration. It was their day, nobody else’s.

Then after their announcements, according to reports, Jones showed enough class to call Kentucky coach John Calipari to tell Calipari he was going to Washington.

Calipari reacted like a coach who hadn’t heard the final buzzer. Jones still hadn’t signed his letter of intent. To Calipari, that meant the game was still on, and there’s no quit in Coach Cal.

Who knows what Calipari told Jones? Who knows what suggestions and promises were made? Who knows what game-changing strategy Calipari was employing?

Temporarily, at least, Jones postponed his decision to go to UW. Instead of allowing Friday’s news conference to be celebratory, Calipari cloaked it in confusion.

Maybe nothing Calipari said to Jones was against NCAA rules, but with Calipari there is always room for suspicion.

Calipari does a great job with recruiting, but who knows if it’s on the level. Everywhere he goes, scandal follows. There was the UMass Marcus Camby incident, the Derrick Rose SAT scandal and most recently, a suspicious reply (“Yea”) from Marcus Teague when a fake John Calipari told him via Facebook to make sure that “nobody ever know any of the details” of “what goes on behind the scenes” during Teague’s recruiting trip to Kentucky.

Then there’s Jones, who already verbally committed to Washington, yet Calipari is sill looking like a glorified used car salesman, putting on the hard sell.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Kentucky’s GPA is…lacking

The Last Angry Fan dug up a little dirt on John Calipari’s first season at Kentucky. It turned out that a bunch of one-and-dones didn’t care all that much about academics. Shocker!

Of all the athletic teams at the University of Kentucky, no team had a lower cumulative GPA than Calipari’s squad. In fact, Kentucky’s basketball team scored their lowest GPA since the 2002 season.

High-fives all around!

How bad was UK’s GPA? Think low, then take off a point or two and you’re almost there. For the fall semester, their cumulative GPA was a meager 2.025, easily the worst amongst the nine SEC teams that released their GPA’s to the public.

This is a side effect of the NBA’s age-limit rule. When you force kids to go to college that wouldn’t otherwise go to college, and only for a year, they’re not going to work all that hard in the classroom. They know they only have to pass a few credits in the fall semester to be eligible to play in March Madness, and after that they’re off to the NBA.

What a joke.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Fake Calipari tricks Marquis Teague on Facebook

I found this over on Testudo Times. A fake John Calipari sent a Facebook message to five-star recruit and recent Kentucky signee Marquis Teague that said the following:



I wonder what “goes on behind the scenes.”

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