Paul Silas is near a deal to remain the coach of the Charlotte Bobcats through the 2011-12 season, according to Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski. Silas took over for the departing Larry Brown in late December. Since Silas took the reigns, the Bobcats have gone 15-12. They were 9-19 when Brown resigned.
Silas had previously coached the Hornets (when they were still in Charlotte and in their first season in New Orleans) and was LeBron James' first NBA head coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Bobcats are fighting for a playoff spot with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Indiana Pacers, who are themselves thriving under a replacement coach in Frank Vogel. Vogel, however, was an internal hire when the franchise decided to fire Jim O'Brien. Silas was retired when the Bobcats made him their new head coach.
The move to extend Silas likely keeps the Bobcats out of the coaching market this offseason, but ensures that even if the NBA suffers a lockout for the 2011-12, Charlotte will have a coaching staff on the payroll. It's believed teams with coaching vacancies may opt to hold off on hiring a coach until there's something for said coaches to do, like work with players. Once (and if) the NBA calls a lockout on July 1, coaches under contract can have no contact with players under contract.