Jim Lynam not only got a two-year extension of his contract as coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, but news that his top draft choice, Brian Oliver, had signed a four-year contract.
Sixers' owner Harold Katz said it took 10 minutes to negotiate an extension through 1993 for Lynam, who didn't bother to bring an agent to the table.Oliver, 22, who last year helped Georgia Tech to the NCAA Final Four, was another story.
Katz described the negotiations with the 6-foot-4 guard and his agent as "the most difficult with a second-round draft choice I've ever had."
When it was over, Oliver had a guaranteed four-year contract for a reported $1.6 million.
Lynam, 49, was in the last year of a three-year contract that paid him a reported $700,000. It is believed he probably will get $700,000 for the additional two years.
Lynam was an assistant at Portland and then head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers from 1983 to 1985 before joining the Sixers as assistant to Matt Guokas. He succeeded Guokas in February 1988.
The Sixers are 115-88 under Lynam. Last year the team won the Atlantic Division championship for the first time in seven years. They beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of playoffs before being eliminated by the Chicago Bulls.
Lynam said he suggested an extension of his contract to Katz.
"We sat down the other day and got it done. I didn't have anybody represent me. We have a chemistry in this organization that starts at the top," he said.
Lynam said he's getting more comfortable with his team all the time, citing recent additions Manute Bol and Oliver as major pluses.
Katz said negotiations with Oliver's agent, Richard Howe, were difficult because of the NBA salary cap, and Howe's insistence that Oliver should have been a first-round pick.
Katz said he was able to make the deal with Howe after he learned Jay Vincent was leaving the Sixers to go to Italy.
"We were able to use the salary slot for Jay Vincent to sign Brian Oliver," Katz said. "And we still have the ability to go out and sign another player."