The Jazz are still in danger of losing assistant coach Jerry Sloan, but they're keeping Scott Layden.
While Sloan arrived in Miami to interview for the Heat's head coaching position Wednesday, Layden has turned down an offer to become Minnesota's director of player personnel and has accepted a Jazz contract extension, his father, Jazz Coach Frank Layden, confirmed Tuesday.Sloan, the Jazz's chief assistant for four seasons, follows Detroit assistant Ron Rothstein into town for an interview with Heat officials, led by part-owner Billy Cunningham. A third candidate, possibly a college coach, is also on the Heat's list.
Miami was reportedly interested in Detroit Coach Chuck Daly, but Daly signed a new contract with the Pistons last week. The Heat originally went after Frank Layden, but the Jazz denied permission to talk to him after he'd decided to stay.
Jazz owner Larry Miller has promised Sloan he will be the next Jazz coach, although Layden still has five years left on his current contract. Rothstein is in a similar position in Detroit, with the 57-year-old Daly now probably on his last contract.
Frank Layden recommended Sloan to Cunningham and encouraged Sloan to look at the job. "I would hate to lose Jerry, but I also understand he has to do what's best for himself," he said.
If Miami makes Sloan an offer, Miller wants to counter. That's what he did with Scott Layden, the chief scout and No. 2 bench assistant who joined the staff seven years ago at age 23. Minnesota had interviewed Layden in February but waited until after last week's NBA draft before making an offer.
"He was offered and turned down the Minnesota job," said Frank Layden, after Scott called him Tuesday from Rotterdam, The Netherlands, where he is scouting a pre-Olympic tournament. Scott Layden received a five-year contract in August 1985 after turning down an offer from the Los Angeles Lakers; his father confirmed Scott was awarded "a nice addition to his contract" after deciding to stay this time.
Miller had said last week of Sloan and Scott Layden, "If we're willing to make commitments and really clarify our position, we're in a position to offer those guys some things they'd like."