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NBA Rumors: Calipari and the Lakers?

John Calipari to the Los Angeles Lakers? Grant Jerrett signs with the Thunder… Marcus Smart declares for the draft…

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Calipari to L.A.?

via Rex Chapman’s on Twitter

Chapman’s tweet went out about an hour before the start of the national championship game between Kentucky and UConn last night. For those of you wondering what Chapman does now, he’s part of the UK television broadcast team. So, he is definitely a part of the inner circle there at Kentucky.

However, by the time an hour had passed after the game, both Calipari and the Lakers came out and publicly denied that there was any validity to the tweet.

Calipari was unsuccessful in his first stint as a NBA head coach, getting fired in New Jersey early in his third season. Rumors have persisted since he was at Memphis, though, that he would like the second shot and the Lakers’ gig is a big enough one to potentially lure him away, if there is any real legitimate interest on their part.

The latest reports on Mike D’Antoni’s job security said that the Lakers were leaning towards bringing him back.

In related: Are the Wolves going to trade Lakers’ target Kevin Love?

Thunder sign Grant Jerrett

The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed forward Grant Jerrett to a contract, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Jerrett (6-10, 232) joins the Thunder after spending the past season with the Tulsa 66ers where he appeared in 27 games (25 starts) and averaged 15.1 points and 6.1 rebounds in 29.3 minutes per game.

The Thunder secured the rights to Jerrett on draft night after he was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 40th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

The University of Arizona product spent one collegiate season with the Wildcats before entering the NBA Draft.

Jerrett’s signing represents the ninth call-up all-time between the 66ers and the Thunder.

The Thunder roster now stands at 15.

Via NBA Press Releases

Jerrett is a stretch power forward whose ability to keep defenses honest with his jump shot could come in handy for when teams try to pack in the paint against Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. He may not get his chance until next year, though, as the Thunder’s rotation is going to be hard to crack this season.

Jerrett left Arizona after a mediocre freshmen campaign because he didn’t want to be stuck playing behind Brandon Ashley and Aaron Gordon at Arizona this season. Even with Ashley’s injury, minutes were going to be hard for him to come by. So, he spent his sophomore season in the D-League.

This option could soon become increasingly used if the NBA increases the age limit. Jerrett wasn’t going to see the floor a ton at Arizona; the D-League was his best chance to see extended minutes. And now, thanks to the time and development he’s put in there, he’s right where he wants to be.

Make sure to read: Cheap Seats on the Defensive Player of the Year

Marcus Smart declares

After a tumultuous sophomore season, Oklahoma State star Marcus Smart has decided to enter the NBA draft.

Via ESPN

Smart passed up on potentially being the second overall selection in last year’s draft to compete for a national championship this year at Oklahoma State. Unfortunately for Smart, the team was eliminated in their opening round game once again. As a result, he didn’t improve on his stock like he was hoping. Smart’s regular season was marred as well by the infamous pushing incident and frustration with the way the game was being officiated. Statistically he did improve, though, and looks pretty safe as a top ten pick. He still has the potential to go in the top eight, as long as he has a strong showing in the predraft process.

Yannis Koutroupis is Basketball Insiders' Managing Site Editor and Senior Writer. He has been covering the NBA and NCAA for seven years.

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