Grunwald: 'We want to keep' Lin

Injured Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin talks to Injured Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin talks to the media as the Knicks clean out their lockers the day after being eliminated from the playoffs by Miami. (May 10, 2012) Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

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Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald said he expects Jeremy Lin to be with the team next season.

Lin will become a restricted free agent July 1. There's been some speculation that teams could backload an offer sheet for Lin, who can't make more than roughly $5.5 million for the 2012-13 season. The Knicks can match all offers for the point guard, and Grunwald doesn't foresee a scenario in which they won't.

"Not at this time," he said. "We can keep him if we want him, and we do want to keep him. I believe that Jeremy had a great experience here and I believe he wants to come back. So that's where that is."

The NBA Players Association filed an appeal to get Lin and unrestricted free agent Steve Novak their "early Bird" rights, which would allow the Knicks to sign them without using either their midlevel or lower-level exception. If the union loses, the Knicks' midlevel will go to Lin. The Knicks hope the arbitrator rules in favor of the players.

"We're interested bystanders," Grunwald said. "Obviously, it will impact some things and provide us with a couple of more options in terms of trying to improve our team."

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Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Lin, who had arthroscopic knee surgery in April, will be able "to go full" in his offseason program. Lin has been picked to play for the USA select team that will train with the national team in July.

No fine necessary

Grunwald said the Knicks "didn't consider fining" Amar'e Stoudemire for missing Game 3 against the Heat with a hand injury after he punched a glass-enclosed fire extinguisher.

J.R. Smith arrested

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Miami Beach police said Knicks guard J.R. Smith was arrested on a bench warrant for not having a valid driver's license.

Sgt. Bobby Hernandez said Smith, 26, was stopped Thursday night. A routine search revealed the bench warrant and he was arrested. Details were not immediately available on what led police to stop Smith at about 8:30 p.m.

Hernandez said Smith was taken to the Miami-Dade County jail, where officials say he bonded out early Friday.

"I've read the newspaper accounts and we're aware of it," Grunwald said. "But it's a legal matter and I don't think it's appropriate for me to comment."

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