Friday , Mar , 28 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Donnie Walsh Planning to Keep Isiah Thomas

The New York Daily News, citing an unnamed source, reported Thursday that owner James Dolan’s preference is to keep Thomas on the sidelines, even after he hires a successor to Thomas to run the organization.

"There isn’t a basketball executive alive who would keep Isiah as head coach, but Jim is telling whoever he interviews, ‘I would prefer to keep Isiah but you do what you have to do,’" the source close to Dolan told the Daily News. "If Isiah isn’t the coach, Jim still wants him to stay in the organization in some capacity."

Walsh, who announced this week that he is leaving the Pacers organization at the end of this season, is expected to sign a three-year, $15 million contract with New York at the end of this season to oversee its basketball operations division, a source told ESPN on Monday. [ESPN]