Thursday, August 6, 2009

What's A.J.'s Price? (And Calhoun's?)

By now, most UConn fans probably know that A.J. Price has impressed the Indiana Pacers brass with his play in exhibition games, scrimmages, etc.

Pacers coach Jim O'Brien recently stated he believed Price, the 52nd overall pick, "could be the steal of the draft." Apparently, this isn't a bit of O'Brien hyperbole.

We're hearing that Price could be close to signing a multi-year deal with the Pacers. Second-round draft picks don't automatically receive guaranteed contracts, but if Price continues to impress, he could land a two-year deal with an option for a third year, or something in that vein.

Right now, Price is out in Indiana working out every day with some of the Pacers' other rookies (including first-round pick Tyler Hansbrough out of North Carolina, who is nursing an injury that could keep him sidelined for several weeks).

***Also, don't be surprised if Jim Calhoun reaches a contract agreement with UConn within the next few weeks. Calhoun is entering the final year of a six-year deal that runs through June 30, 2010 and will pay him $1.6 million this year.

His new deal would likely be a multi-year one, indicating that Calhoun has no immediate plans to retire. And despite Ken Krayeske and the current economic climate, we'd have to expect a bump in pay. Still, in light of John Calipari (eight years, $31.65 million), Urban Meyer (six years, $24 million) and others, an argument could be made that Calhoun would still be underpaid.

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