For the second time in his three years as president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves, David Kahn is heading into an important NBA draft without a coach by his side.
Kahn has yet to announce a decision on Kurt Rambis and the coach won't be on hand Thursday night at the draft when the team holds the No. 2 pick — the highest in franchise history.
Yahoo! Sports reported Wednesday night that Kahn planned to fire Rambis sometime after the draft and was already gathering information on potential replacements. Kahn didn't return messages left by The Associated Press and a team spokesman said, "We're not going to comment on speculation."
UNION, OWNERS STILL FAR APART: Union officials said Wednesday that NBA players and owners are about $7 billion apart over a 10-year span in their most recent proposals, a significant gap to close to avoid a work stoppage.
So far apart in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement that union president Derek Fisher said when players are briefed on the state of the talks, they are in "total disbelief" and ask why they even bother having meetings.
"When we put our spreadsheets up, we put it on the board, we lay it out, everybody's at a loss for how to even begin to close this gap," the Lakers' guard said.
They have only until June 30, when the current CBA expires, and they'll take another crack at it during another session Friday.
But as they continue to disagree over issues relating to the salary cap as well as the enormous gap in economics, it becomes clear how difficult it will be to avoid a lockout.
"Their demand is gargantuan and we just can't meet it," executive director Billy Hunter said.
MAVERICKS RUN JUST FINE, THANK YOU: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has filed what can perhaps best be described as a "told you so" document in court against Ross Perot Jr.
Perot holds a 5 percent stake in the team, and he sued Cuban a year ago claiming that the team was so badly managed it should be put in receivership.
Cuban's attorneys fired back Wednesday, telling a judge that the Mavericks' first NBA title proves that Perot's arguments should be tossed out. The four-page court filing labels the team as the "World Champion Dallas Mavericks" and includes a photograph of Dirk Nowitzki hoisting the championship trophy.
BABBY SAYS SUNS NOT TRADING NASH: The Phoenix Suns again are shooting down rumors of a possible trade of Steve Nash.
Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby emphatically said that the two-time league MVP isn't going anywhere, and he added center Marcin Gortat to the untouchable list.
In an email on Wednesday, he repeated the statement he made earlier in the day to The Arizona Republic, saying, "We are not trading Marcin Gortat, period. End of sentence. We are not trading Steve Nash, period, exclamation point."