GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Memo to Knicks fans daydreaming about Chris Paul playing in an orange and blue uniform next season: general manager Glen Grunwald doesn't expect to make any major changes to the roster this summer.
"In general, it's best to maintain continuity, familiarity," Grunwald said Tuesday on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "The Stephen A. Smith & Ryan Ruocco Show." "I don't foresee substantial changes to our roster."
With $77.6 million in committed salary, they will have only the mini mid-level exception ($3 million per year) and veteran's minimum contracts to offer free agents.
There is a possibility the team could trade players to get under the salary cap, but Grunwald dismissed that on Tuesday. The Knicks can also execute a sign-and-trade to acquire a free agent, though it would be tricky to accomplish that due to CBA restrictions.
A sign-and-trade is one way that the Knicks would be able to obtain Paul, who is a free agent this summer. But it is an extremely remote possibility.
"You can trade players, but I don’t think that’s our focus," Grunwald said Tuesday when asked about the possibility of a sign-and-trade. "Our focus is to continue to build this core team. Some continuity, some familiarization, further growth as individuals and as a team, I think that’s what we have to do."
Grunwald said the Knicks' front office will take a "creative" approach to the offseason.
They have a first-round pick (24th) in the June draft but have no second-round picks. They will have decisions to make on several players expected to test free agency, including J.R. Smith, Chris Copeland, Pablo Prigioni and Kenyon Martin.
Grunwald declined to comment on Smith or other potential free agents. The Knicks will be able to offer Smith a contract starting at around $5 million. Other teams under the salary cap may be able to offer a richer contract.
With Prigioni and Copeland, the Knicks will likely be able to use part of their mini mid-level exception to match offers from other teams, if the players receive such offers.
Grunwald said again and again on Tuesday that he'd like to maintain "continuity" and keep the roster largely intact.
"In general, it’s best to maintain the continuity if you think [the team can] get better. I think we can get better. I think we can play better than we did at the end of the season," Grunwald said. "But that’s not to say we won’t explore all alternatives."
Other highlights from Grunwald:
CHANDLER GAVE 100 PERCENT: Grunwald said Tyson Chandler lost 12 pounds shortly before the playoffs due to illness and, as a result, he wasn't 100 percent healthy in the postseason.
"He wasn't 100 percent, he gave 100 percent of what he had," Grunwald said.
Chandler was badly outplayed by Indiana's Roy Hibbert in the Knicks' playoff loss to the Pacers.
"I know he's disappointed in the team's performance and what he gave in the playoffs," Grunwald said.
The GM added that the Knicks may look into using Chandler and Amar'e Stoudemire in the post more frequently next season. Chandler served primarily as the screener on pick-and-rolls this season.
AMAR'E SUCCEEDED OFF BENCH: Neither Grunwald nor Mike Woodson would say whether Stoudemire would start or come off the bench next season. But Grunwald did say that Stoudemire "grew into" his role off the bench with the Knicks this season.
"We're hopeful he'll be able to contribute next year in whatever role Woody decides," Grunwald said.
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