John Calipari has become college basketball's most impactful coach during his tenure at Kentucky with a formula that has produced one national championship, two runner-up finishes and an undefeated season to date.
Calipari, however, did not succeed in his stint in the NBA with the New Jersey Nets.
"He desperately wants it," the front office official said about returning to the NBA. "He won’t say it out loud. The NBA is the only place he’s ever failed and it drives him nuts. He’s not the same guy he was then. He came to the NBA and he wasn’t ready. He’s ready now."
Calipari has remained close with Brett Yormark, CEO of the Nets.
The Nets could have $60 million in cap space in the summer of 2016, which coincides with the free agency of LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
"All these kids, if you look at a free agent list and check off the ones who he’s got a relationship with you could build an All-Star team," a person close to Calipari said. "Start with LeBron James."