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Atlantic Notes: Smith, Embiid, Thomas

Knicks president Phil Jackson would love to have big man Jason Smith back for the 2015/16 season, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. Jackson is aware that it may not be possible to re-sign the unrestricted free agent if he is offered a deal by another team for more than the veteran’s minimum, Berman adds. New York may be willing to go above the minimum to retain the 29-year-old, but that is dependent on how the team’s pursuit of bigger ticket free agents goes, the Post scribe notes. The Zen Master has acknowledged that he may not be able to land a big man via the NBA Draft, and with the Knicks’ roster currently devoid of big men, as well as Smith relaying that he would indeed like to return to New York, the two sides could be a fit, Berman relays.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Raptors brought in Kentucky center Dakari Johnson for a workout on Tuesday, Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun relays. Johnson is projected to be a second round pick in this year’s draft, and though Toronto doesn’t currently own any second-rounders, the team is considering trying to purchase one, Wolstat adds. “You always got to come into the opportunity and just make the best of it, no matter the circumstances, you’ve got to come in and work your hardest,” Johnson said. “That’s the type of person I am, I love to compete. I initially didn’t have this workout scheduled, but they added it on for me and I decided to come in and just compete. I just love to compete.
  • Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil has indicated that additional doctors will evaluate the latest setback in the healing of center Joel Embiid‘s right foot, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. “We’re still waiting,” O’Neil said. “We have another three doctors to come see him. The nice thing about jobs like these – you can literally get the best experts in the world. All you have to do is call and they love to see us.” Philly has legitimate concerns that Embiid could miss the entire 2015/16 campaign.
  • The Nets are pessimistic that they will be able to move up from the No. 29 overall pick in this year’s draft, Mike Mazzeo of tweets.
  • The New York Liberty of the WNBA have suspended consideration of Isiah Thomas‘ application to become part owner of the team, Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg News relays (Twitter link). Thomas will remain in his duties as team president, but the ownership review process is expected to take an extended period, Berman notes in a separate piece. Both Jackson and GM Steve Mills had expressed concerns to owner James Dolan when he informed them he was hiring the former Knicks executive.

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