Jim Lynam flew from Portland to San Diego yesterday and with him rose American University's growing stature as a basketball "cradle of coaches."

Lynam, Trail Blazers assistant, was on his way to be introduced as coach of the Clippers. That, with Stan Albeck completing his move from San Antonio to New Jersey, made two more NBA coaching vacancies filled--and left Atlanta (which liked Lynam, too) likely to name Mike Fratello, New York Knicks assistant, as its man today.

Which should leave only the Spurs looking. And ambitious Bernie Bickerstaff to stick around as Bullets' assistant.

Lynam is only half a decade removed from coaching AU, before directing alma mater St. Joseph's, then serving Jack Ramsay in Portland . . . Albeck just hours removed from the Spurs as he and multiyear Nets pact materialized in the Meadowlands . . . And Fratello just one New York year under Hubie Brown away from a four-year turn in the Omni aiding Brown, then Kevin Loughery-- due in Chicago today as Bulls' coach . . .

Lynam (multiyear, too) brought "Jack's (Ramsay) style . . . a very team-oriented approach." And a realist's approach: "Our success will be in direct proportion to how healthy Bill Walton is" . . .

Ex-Bullet Fred Carter, an Atlanta assistant, says the Hawks tell him he can look for another job . . . Nets guard Michael Ray Richardson is reported (by Jersey brass) "feeling great" after release from a drug treatment hospital, "thinks he's cured" . . . To reports of Knickerbocker eyes on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, add tales New York will dangle a three-year, $3.5 million package at Kevin McHale . . . Rockets' ex-forward Robert Reid kept his date in Houston with G.M. Ray Patterson-- only to say he is not coming back. "He reaffirmed his decision to remain in the Pentecostal ministry in Miami," the club says; forsaking $300,000 in final year of contract, he is a grocery assistant manager and studies at his grandmother's church to be a preacher . . .

The Kansas City Kings have been sold to a Sacramento, Calif., group of real estate developers, who promise to keep the franchise in K.C.--at least the two years left on Kemper Arena lease. Purchase price: $10.5 million. New owners are headed by Joseph Benvenuti (50 percent); Frank Lukenbill and Gregg Lukenbill . . .

At the 76ers' White House visit yesterday, when Commissioner Larry O'Brien gave Ronald Reagan an NBA referee's jacket, the president said, "You mean there aren't enough people mad at me already?" Reagan showed savvy about Sixer sloganeering, too, saying "how sorry I was that I wasn't able to phone you the night you won the championship . . . I owe you one."