Earlier today, the New York Knicks hired Glen Grunwald as Vice President to assist Isiah Thomas in the front office. With Zeke pulling double duty this year as coach & general manager it’s no secret that the Knicks were looking for help, and Grunwald’s ties to Isiah made him the front runner. Unfortunately Grunwald’s track record leaves a lot to be desired.
Grunwald’s fans and family members (which might be one and the same) would argue that he took over a 16 win team and in 2 years had them in the playoffs. His best moves in Toronto were made through the draft as he grabbed both Vince Carter and Chris Bosh. Meanwhile some Knick fans might remember Grunwald as the architect behind the 2001 team that ousted them in the playoffs. However his win-now strategy left the Raptors in disarray, and within 2 years the team was back among the league’s worst. By the time Toronto fired him, the team had the 3rd worst record in the league.
The Toronto GM squandered his young talent in favor of fading veterans. Grunwald let future perennial All Star Tracy McGrady walk on a sign and trade, and he traded a 24 year old Marcus Camby for a 35 year old Charles Oakley. Hakeem Olajuwon, Kevin Willis, Dell Curry, Muggsy Bogues, Dee Brown, and Mark Jackson would have made a decent team in the mid-90s. But under Grunwald the Raptors acquired these 30-something players to form an NBA old-age home. It seemed that he insisted on surrounding Vince Carter with any veterans instead of veteran talent.
So far the organization is tight lipped on Grunwald’s duties. Most likely Glen will man the store while Isiah works on the Xs & Os, but Thomas will have the final say on any deal. Knick fans should be fearful of Grunwald’s spendthrift past, but his draft picks show him to be a good evaluator of young talent. If Thomas can keep Grunwald scouring for cheap young talent and away from pricey geriatrics, the signing could be fruitful. Of course the same could be said of Isiah Thomas as well.