The Cleveland Cavaliers are finally ready to start making some things official. Team owner Dan Gilbert will introduce Indiana Pacers assistant...

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CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Cavaliers are finally ready to start making some things official.

Team owner Dan Gilbert will introduce Indiana Pacers assistant Mike Brown as the Cavaliers’ 17th coach at a news conference at Gund Arena today.

Gilbert, however, isn’t expected to shed any light on the club’s vacant president and general-manager positions.

According to two league officials, the Cavaliers interviewed Milt Newton, Washington Wizards director of player personnel, for a third time yesterday. Newton could be named the team’s general manager by next week.

Detroit Pistons coach Larry Brown is believed to have agreed in principle to become the club’s president of operations once the Pistons’ season is over. According to an insider, the Cavaliers have presented Brown a three-year contract offer with an option for a fourth year.

The deal is believed to include guaranteed money in excess of $20 million with numerous bonus clauses, which would make it one of the richest per-year contracts given to an executive in the NBA.

Mike Brown has signed a four-year contract with three of the years guaranteed. The deal will pay him $2.2 million per season for the first three years and the fourth year has a $500,000 buyout.

The Cavaliers owe former coach Paul Silas $8 million over the next two seasons and former general manager Jim Paxson $2 million.

Gilbert is expected to face questions over the process he’s chosen to restock his team, making a coaching hire before top management is in place. While it is doubtful he will confirm or deny any deals with Larry Brown, he is expected to defend his decision by saying Mike Brown was the top coaching choice of all of the team’s top general-manager and presidential candidates.

It is believed Pacers executive David Morway and San Antonio Spurs executive Danny Ferry, two others who interviewed for top positions with Gilbert’s ownership group, both recommended Mike Brown in addition to Newton.

Larry Brown is also believed to have endorsed Mike Brown.

At 35, Mike Brown will be the second-youngest coach in the NBA behind the New Jersey Nets’ Lawrence Frank. He has been in the league since he was 22, rising from video coordinator to head coach.

Talks stall after league rejects union offers

NBA labor talks stalled yesterday after a 2 ½-hour meeting in New York, less than a month before a lockout would begin.

“All I can say is that we had a meeting, and we don’t have anything else scheduled,” NBA deputy commissioner Russ Granik said.

Players association director Billy Hunter said he outlined a new proposal, then offered to extend the terms of the current seven-year agreement that expires June 30. The league turned down both offers.

“It’s definitely fair to say the talks have stalled,” Hunter said. “They are seeking more concessions off the current deal, and we contend we made major concessions in the last collective-bargaining agreement.”

Among the issue the sides have failed to reach agreement on are the maximum length of long-term contracts, the size of the annual raises available in those contracts and a possible increase in the minimum age.

“We’ve tried our best to reach out to them and address their concerns,” Garrity said.

Commissioner David Stern has said the owners have offered to guarantee that the players receive a 57 percent share of revenues, would raise the salary cap three percentage points — from 48 to 51 percent of revenues — and minimize the level at which the luxury tax clicks in, making more money available for salaries.

A lockout would likely begin July 1 if the sides fail to reach an agreement. The league imposed a lockout in July 1998, after the previous deal expired, and the work stoppage lasted 7 ½ months to force the cancellation of games because of a labor dispute for the first time in league history.


• Chicago Bulls coach Scott Skiles said for the first time publicly that he wouldn’t continue negotiations on a contract extension once the 2005-06 season begins.

Sources say the Bulls’ four-year offer is for $17 million, with the first three years averaging $4 million and an “option” year at $5 million with $2 million guaranteed.

That translates to Skiles collecting $14 million to $17 million, an average salary of $4.67 million if he coaches three seasons, or $4.25 million if he coaches four. That would place him among the NBA’s highest-paid coaches.

Skiles’ camp denies it is asking $20 million guaranteed over four years.

Eastern Conference finals
Miami vs. Detroit
Best-of-seven series tied 2-2
# Date, time, results
1 Detroit 90, Miami 81
2 Miami 92, Detroit 86
3 Miami 113, Detroit 104
4 Detroit 106, Miami 96
5 Today at Miami, 5 p.m. (TNT)
6 Saturday at Detroit, 5 p.m. (TNT)
7* Monday at Miami, 5 p.m. (TNT)
*If necessary