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Carlisle's agent says Dallas Mavericks deal appears close

Rick Carlisle’s agent says that Carlisle isn’t “looking over his shoulder” to see what other coaching jobs might come open and that a deal with the Dallas Mavericks appears imminent.

“A lot of this is about finding your fit,” said agent Warren LeGarie, who is working in Greece. “With Donnie [Nelson] and Mark [Cuban], I think Rick has found a fit.”

Nelson, the Mavs’ president of basketball operations, reiterated Tuesday night that negotiations are moving forward and that he was optimistic Carlisle would soon be the ninth head coach in Mavs history.

LeGarie indicated Carlisle is seeking a contract of at least four years and said a deal could be consummated by the end of the week.

Nelson declined to discuss specifics of the negotiations, such as contract length.

“It seems at this point we’re moving closer,” LeGarie said. “We’re finding more in agreement than disagreement, more common ground.

“We’re moving toward concluding a deal.”

Carlisle, former coach of the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers, would replace Avery Johnson, who was fired last Wednesday after three-plus seasons as the Mavs’ coach.

Johnson, incidentally, met with New York Knicks president Donnie Walsh on Tuesday in Houston.

Carlisle has already interviewed for the Knicks’ job, and reports suggest the Phoenix Suns also will have a coaching vacancy soon.

The Suns granted Mike D’Antoni permission to talk to other clubs, and he reportedly has interviewed with the Knicks and Chicago Bulls and is waiting for an offer from one or both teams.

ESPN reported that D’Antoni likely will be the Bulls’ next coach, but Newsday, citing anonymous sources, reported that he hasn’t ruled out the Knicks and that he is likely to receive a job offer within 48 hours.

The Chicago Tribune reported D’Antoni’s camp told both franchises that a conclusion is expected by the end of the week.

A source close to Johnson told the Tribune that the Bulls no longer were showing much interest in him.