UCLA offers Barnes deal with $5 million per year

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- On the same day that Tennessee's Rick Barnes was named the Naismith national coach of the year, rumors are swirling about his future on Rocky Top.

According to ESPN's Chris Low, UCLA has offered Barnes $5 million a year for an unknown number of years, while Tennessee has counter offered with a new deal.

A reporter with 24/7 Sports, Evan Daniels, tweeted Sunday night, saying "Rick Barnes has emerged as a serious candidate in UCLA's head coaching search."

That report was unexpected at the time, but since then, multiple other reports have been released from other credible sources.

LA Times reporter Ben Bolch took to Twitter, saying:

"I have been told that Rick Barnes would definitely accept the UCLA job if formally offered it."

College basketball reporter Jeff Goodman tweeted, saying:

"Source on Rick Barnes to UCLA: 'Don’t be surprised if it happens. I think it’s real - on both sides.'”

Keep in mind, these reports are coming from national media and reporters on the west coast. We have reached out to our sources in Knoxville, and haven't heard of any mutual interest between Barnes and UCLA.

Barnes is the second-highest paid coach in the Southeastern Conference, behind only Kentucky's John Calipari. Barnes makes $3.25 million per year.

His buyout is around $5 million.

These numbers are based on Barnes' new contract which he signed right before this past season.

UCLA has publicly offered its head coaching job to Calipari, a six-year, $48 million deal, that he turned down after Kentucky offered to keep him in Lexington the rest of his career. The Bruins then reportedly offered the job to TCU coach Jamie Dixon, but talks fell through over Dixon's $8 million buyout.