THE Canberra Capitals are ''very confident'' of agreeing to terms with out-of-contract coach Carrie Graf before the end of the WNBL season.
But they have criticised Basketball Australia for making the process infinitely harder as the uncertainty over the Australian Opals post drags on.
Graf's contracts with the Capitals and Opals expired at the end of last year, but Fairfax Media understands a decision on whether she will retain the national position is still some time away.
Basketball Australia is yet to confirm whether the Opals job will be full-time after the team won bronze at the London Olympics.
''They're the sort of things we're ironing out to incorporate into the agreement,'' Basketball ACT chief executive officer Tony Jackson said.
''We need to allow for this, if that changes we allow for this and so on, just cover the bases.
''I think at times BA fails to sometimes show leadership and give a clear 'this is what we want'.
''We're very optimistic and very confident [she'll stay], both Graffy and I and her agent.
''It's just fine-tuning some structural stuff, but in principle I think we're pretty close.
''Maybe we won't have everybody's signatures on all the forms, but I think we'll have all the agreements tied up, if not by the last game [against West Coast next week], then the end-of-season dinner [February 22].
''We're just making sure Graffy is comfortable with everything and she's not second-guessing anything, and I don't think she has.''
The Olympics, her father's death and Lauren Jackson's injury woes have ensured the 2012-13 WNBL season has been a dramatic one for Graf.
Although the seven-time champions will miss the play-offs for a second straight year, Jackson insists the squad isn't in need of a new voice.
''The last six months have been hugely disruptive for Graffy and the team,'' Jackson said.
Meanwhile, the Capitals slumped to a heavy 83-46 loss to Bendigo in Victoria on Saturday.
The competition leaders took full advantage of the absence of suspended Brigitte Ardossi, dominating the rebound count 49-26 and outscoring Canberra in the paint 30-12.
AT A GLANCE
BENDIGO SPIRIT 83 (Chelsea Aubry 14, Kristi Harrower 12) bt CANBERRA CAPITALS 46 (Michelle Cosier 12, Casey Samuels 11) at Bendigo.
Sunday: Bulleen Boomers v Canberra Capitals at The Veneto Club, 1pm.