Atlantic Notes: Thomas, Crowder, Sixers

James Dolan’s hire of Isiah Thomas as team president and a minority owner of the New York Liberty hasn’t reportedly sat well with Knicks president Phil Jackson. When Thomas was asked if he wanted to return to the NBA someday, the former coach and executive didn’t rule it out, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. “You never know where life takes you,’’ Thomas said. “I don’t think there’s anyone in this room who can say three years from now I’ll be here. I live in the present. This is where I’m at today. I’ll do the best job I can possibly do here. You never know where you’re going to end up.’’

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Thanks to some unkind ping-pong balls, the Sixers only walked away from the NBA Draft lottery with one of three potential 2015 first round picks. Philly’s GM Sam Hinkie believes the results were simple mathematics, and not bad luck, Bob Ford of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. “It was a good night for us. Even better than we anticipated,” Hinkie said. “We spent a lot of time looking at the odds and the most likely outcome was that we would get the fourth pick alone, and the next most likely outcome was we would get the third pick alone. We had a 77% chance of only getting our pick.
  • Celtics president Rich Gotham confirmed that the team intends to re-sign Jae Crowder this offseason, Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe relays (via Twitter). “Jae is definitely a priority,” said Himmelsbach. “He added toughness, energy and confidence. I think he gave our guys a swagger.” This echoes the sentiments that Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, relayed last month regarding Crowder, who can become a restricted free agent this summer if the team tenders him a qualifying offer worth $1,181,348.
  • The Celtics will work out LSU big man Jordan Mickey, who sat down for an interview with the team while at the draft combine, A. Sherrod Blakely of writes. “It was a great conversation,” Mickey told Blakely. “The guys that interviewed me, I felt like they enjoyed having me in there. I felt it was a good interview.
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