Reality has struck Madison Square Garden. The New York Knicks' second-highest NBA payroll hasn't compensated for the injuries or a poorly designed roster, and Mike Woodson's team is off to a 3-8 start this season.
Rival executives see the Knicks' future, and it's one that could include Kentucky Wildcats coach John Calipari, according to CBS Sports' Ken Berger.
Why do Berger and NBA executives foresee Calipari taking another shot at the NBA after a failed tenure with the New Jersey Nets?
The Knicks have gone all-in with Creative Arts Agency, the representative company for Carmelo Anthony, player personnel director Mark Warkentien, assistant general manager Allan Houston and Woodson. It also represents guard J.R. Smith and brother Chris Smith, the latter of whom was controversially given a guaranteed contract despite currently playing in the D-League.
CAA also represents Calipari, and it has a deep relationship with one of basketball's most mysterious middlemen, William "World Wide Wes" Wesley. The relationship between CAA and the Knicks franchise is deep, and anonymous executives tell Berger it's quite obvious Calipari could be on the radar:
CAA, via Wesley, also represents a certain decorated college coach in Lexington, Ky. Given the path they've chosen, the Knicks can't get any of the NBA-ready players on Kentucky's roster, but they can get the coach -- and are perhaps the only team positioned to pay Calipari what it would take. One league executive surmised that the bidding would start at $8 million a year.
It's all about creating hope out of thin air -- or money. The Knicks don't have draft picks, cap space or wiggle room in the near future, so perhaps the only option is to chase after a coach who may or may not ask for a decision-making role in New York.
Of course, a number of things would need to lead to Calipari heading to New York, including the Knicks relieving Woodson of his duties. But it all adds up.