The way I hear it Rick Carlisle and the Mavs are still talking (negotiating). Not sure what the hold up is if Mark Cuban is indeed going to hire Carlisle, presumably because there's no one else to hire with any NBA coaching experience. Well, there's Jeff Van Gundy, but apparently he's not interested, at least not for next season (anyway he's dog-gone good, funny even, as a color analyst).
Maybe Carlisle wants an extra year thrown in for added security or something. I don't know, but indications are that he's still the man -- and the only one interviewed -- and some time here soon it will become official -- unless one of those dreaded snags becomes a gaping hole that can't be reconciled.
As for Avery Johnson, will he coach somewhere next season? Guess that depends on what other firings occur. Chicago and NY don't seem likely at this point with the apparent love affair between the Bulls and Mike D'Antoni, who was granted permission by the Suns to talk to both the Bulls and Knicks. The Knicks haven't moved on Mark Jackson yet; there's a notion that the Knickerbockers might not have a great interest in Avery at this time.
As for Carlisle, the stories you hear go both ways, some say he's a poor communicator and players end up frustrated and agitated. Other stories suggest he's had a raw deal at times, especially having to deal with loose canons like Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson -- on the same team. Remember, Carlisle coached the Pacers during the brawl in Detroit. That pretty much was the beginning of the end for Carlisle at Indiana (heck, he's not so bad himself as a studio analyst).
Donnie Nelson continues to preach that Carlisle has a nice combo of defense and creative offense. Well, the latter part seems up for debate, too.
-- Jeff Caplan