Isiah Thomas is back at Madison Square Garden. Thomas has been hired to be president of the New York Liberty of the WNBA. Thomas also will have an ownership stake in the team. Garden CEO James Dolan, who owns the Knicks and Liberty and is an unflinchingly loyal Thomas supporter, said he began discussing the role with Thomas in the fall and he has been pleased with the results. “Now, we’ve agreed that it is time for him to take a lead role with the team as president, and through his ownership interest. He’s an excellent judge of talent, and I’m confident that he will put all of his energy and experience into making the Liberty a perennially competitive and successful team,” Dolan said in a statement.
May 30, 2016 | 6:49 am EDT Update
Whiteside. My understanding, reiterated in recent days, is if all things are equal financially, Whiteside wants to re-sign with Miami. He likes living here and likes the organization.
But we’ve repeatedly heard the Heat’s preference is persuading him to sign under the max (projected to be $21.6 million next season) by selling him on the lack of state income tax, his comfort level here, the roster flexibility created by him taking a bit less; and that Miami can offer 7.5 percent annual raises off the first year salary (compared with 4.5 percent elsewhere). That means a four-year deal starting at $20.7 million with Miami would equal a four-year deal starting at $21.6 million elsewhere.
Wade. One Heat person expects a deal ultimately will be reached paying him at least $15 million, perhaps much closer to, or at, $20 million. The Heat’s preference is for one year, to give it 2017 flexibility.
Luol Deng. The Heat would love to try to find a way to keep him, but even if it finds a taker for Josh McRoberts’ salary, it will be very difficult to create double figures in cap space, if Whiteside re-signs here. And an Eastern Conference official said he expects Deng to get at least $12 million annually in a two-year deal.
Joe Johnson. Miami would like to re-sign him, because he’s one of a limited number of options on the roster who – when playing well – can get you a relief basket. Figure on the Heat dangling its $2.9 million room exception. But an associate said unlike when he signed here, he isn’t sure Johnson would necessarily be inclined to take less money to stay.
Gerald Green. He was a good teammate (according to a Heat person) and became a better defender, but his shooting percentage declined significantly and an official to spoke to the Heat said the indication he got was that the Heat will move on if it can find a better option.