Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Thomas, Outlaw, Melo

Outgoing Raptors executive Tim Leiweke is in talks with Irving Azoff, a confidant of Knicks owner James Dolan, about a deal that would see them have a stake in assets that are currently part of the Madison Square Garden company, reports Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg.com. MSG, which owns the Knicks, is considering splitting into a pair of companies, as Soshnick details, though Soshnick doesn’t indicate whether there’s a role for Leiweke on the Knicks under consideration. Leiweke, who’s leaving his job with the company that owns the Raptors by the end of June or as soon as a replacement is found, said he doesn’t think the company is close to finding it’s next chief executive.  More from the Atlantic Division..

  • Malcolm Thomas got a fairly substantial contract guarantee of $474K for this season on his four-year, minimum-salary deal with the Sixers, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).  Thomas, we learned yesterday, was getting set to play in China before Philly reached out to him over the weekend. The rest of his contract with the Sixers is non-guaranteed, as Pincus shows on the team’s Basketball Insiders salary page.
  • The Knicks received a $1,863,840 trade exception when they traded Travis Outlaw to the Sixers, tweets Pincus. That’s equivalent to the difference between the salaries for Outlaw and Arnett Moultrie, whom the Knicks acquired and immediately waived.
  • Carmelo Anthony is preaching patience when it comes to the Knicks, who had a 37-win season, traded Tyson Chandler, and have a first-year head coach, writes Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com.  “It’s a work in progress now. It’s going to be a work in progress until the end of the season,” Anthony said. “We’re not looking for nothing easy, but we know it’s a work in progress. We have a chance to create something here, and we’re excited about it.”

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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