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Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Grunwald 6th in Executive of Year voting

By Jared Zwerling

Knicks executive vice president and general manager Glen Grunwald finished sixth in Executive of the Year voting, announced Wednesday by the NBA.

Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird was named the winner. Rounding out the top six were San Antonio's R.C. Buford, the L.A. Clippers' Neil Olshey, Chicago's Gar Forman, Utah's Kevin O'Connor and Grunwald.

Grunwald started the season as the interim general manager, but based on his success signing Tyson Chandler, Steve Novak, Jeremy Lin and J.R. Smith (in that order), he earned his full-time job status in late April. And that's why sixth place might come as a surprise.

Grunwald's biggest challenges lie ahead. He has 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, three of the guys he signed this season -- Lin, Novak and Smith -- will be the same ones he'll need to negotiate with, starting July 1. Securing Early Bird Rights for Lin and Smith would help -- and could make space for Steve Nash.

The Knicks, by the way, have never had an Executive of the Year winner.

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