The Knicks announced Tuesday afternoon that Glen Grunwald has been named executive vice president and general manager. He had been serving in this role on an interim basis since July 1, 2011.
Grunwald first joined the Knicks on Sep. 6, 2006, as the team’s senior vice president of basketball operations, following a decade with the Raptors (1994-2004), including seven seasons as general manager.
Here's a quick take on today's development:
WHAT IT MEANS: The right move, and it started on Dec. 10, 2011, when Grunwald amnestied Chauncey Billups to make room for Tyson Chandler. It was a transaction that no one saw coming, even the media themselves, but it proved to shift the franchise even more in a positive direction. After Donnie Walsh secured two offensive weapons in Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, Grunwald got the team a much-needed defensive anchor. In 2010-11, the Knicks were 22nd out of 30 in defensive rating, but this season they're 5th out of 30.
Beyond that, every major move Grunwald has made this season has paid off, and I'm talking specifically about Steve Novak (signed on Dec. 19) Jeremy Lin (Dec. 27) and J.R. Smith (Feb. 17). Grunwald saw something in Lin that many executives didn't, and then he worked with Mike D'Antoni to give the undrafted point guard a chance. (Don't forget that, Knicks fans, as much as you may dislike MDA.) And with Novak and Smith, Lin and Anthony, especially, needed outside shooters when they penetrated. Grunwald recognized the cracks in the roster well enough to sign up the right people for the job openings.
"Glen has done a terrific job this season," Knicks owner James Dolan said in a statement. "He is an intelligent, seasoned executive and we look forward to him continuing in the role of general manager for many years to come."
Grunwald's biggest challenges lie ahead. He's got to figure out with the little wiggle room he has, salary-cap wise, how to re-sign Lin and other key role players to balance out the bench. Ironically, the same guys he signed this season -- Lin, Novak and Smith -- will be the same ones he'll need to re-negotiate with in a month or so. Amazing how time flies.
WHAT'S NEXT: Grunwald will be officially introduced to the media in his new position Wednesday night from the Garden at 6:45 p.m. ET, before the Knicks host the Clippers. Then, it's on to Mike Woodson's job situation. With the team's two stars, Anthony and Stoudemire, publicly supporting him, that provides strong indication he'll be named head coach starting next season. That decision could happen towards the end of the playoffs.
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