The Jazz are allowing the Miami Heat to talk with Jerry Sloan about the head coaching job with the expansion team. Miami part-owner Billy Cunningham told Jazz president David Checketts that Sloan, the fourth-year Jazz assistant coach, is one of the top three candidates.

"Obviously, they are pretty serious about him," said Checketts.Jazz owner Larry Miller had said last week that he would only give the Heat permission to interview Sloan if he had a genuine chance for the job. With Cunningham involved in the NBA Finals as a CBS-TV broadcaster, the soonest he could meet with Sloan in person would be this weekend when Sloan joins Checketts and the Jazz coaching staff in Chicago for the NBA pre-draft camp.

The Heat previously received permission to talk with Detroit assistant coach Ron Rothstein, following the playoffs. Miami has yet to contact Sloan personally, either. "I just don't know what the timetable is for them," Sloan said from his southern Illinois home Tuesday night. "I'm just waiting to hear from them."

Sloan is also being mentioned as one of four possible choices in Houston, after Coach Bill Fitch was fired Monday. The others are Atlanta assistant Don Chaney, Miami scout Dave Wohl and Denver assistant Allan Bristow, who is also a possibility in San Antonio following Bob Weiss' firing Tuesday.

Amid all this, Checketts says of Sloan, "I fell pretty confident that we will keep him. I don't have anything to base that on, but I think he likes it here, he's paid well, Frank (ayden) gives him a lot of rein and he knows we're capapable of doing some things in the next couple of years."

Sloan, 44, received a three-year contract in the summer of 1986, after turning down an assistant coaching offer from Dallas.