In a sign they "may be close to reaching a verdict," jurors in Don King's wire fraud trial asked Judge Lawrence McKenna during yesterday's third day of deliberations "how they should handle the third element of his alleged crime" (Al Guart, N.Y. POST, 11/16). Columnist Wallace Matthews notes, "for the jury to even get to that point, it must have answered 'yes'" to questions of whether there was a scheme to defraud and if King did knowingly take part or cause others working for him to do so. Matthews writes the jury "gave every indication that it is about to convict King on some, if not all" of the nine counts (N.Y. POST, 11/16). However, ESPN analyst Ken Caruso said "there's no reason for any side to push the panic button" ("SportsCenter," 11/15). DEFENSE BLUNDER? Caruso believes King would have been acquitted had he not testified ("SportsCenter," 11/15). TAX PROBLEMS? Meanwhile, NEWSDAY's Greg Logan reports that King, convicted or not, "may face tax problems" as a result of testimony. Logan notes King's payments to translator Gladys Rosa indicated he improperly received credit on a 1099 form in '94, and that he could come under further IRS scrutiny if it is determined he profited from the Chavez insurance settlement (NEWSDAY, 11/16).