By Fitzgerald Cecilio

Jeremy Lin

The New York Knicks expect "Linsanity" to remain in the Big Apple.

Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald is confident that point guard Jeremy Lim will remain as their starting playmaker next season.

"We can keep him if we want him, and we do want to keep him, and I believe that Jeremy had a great experience here. I believe he wants to come back," Grunwald told

As a restricted free agent with a two-year NBA experience, the Knicks can match any offer from other teams to Lin up to $5 million.

The 23-year-old Lin averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 rebounds in 35 games last season. Lin became an overnight sensation when he took over starting point guard chores and led the struggling Knicks to seven straight wins.

Lin missed the last 22 games of the season, including five in the first round of the playoffs after suffering a chronic meniscus tear in his left knee.

Coach Mike Woodson, who signed a fresh deal with the Knicks, said Lin is feeling "great" and raring to return to the hardcourt.

"He's gone through his rehab process, so he's back running and moving, like we expected him to be," said Woodson, who will travel to Las Vegas in early July to watch Lin participate with the USA Men's Select Team.

"Our doctors did a tremendous job on the surgery and our therapy people putting things back in place. So he will be ready to go, at full go this season," he said.

Grunwald also said he expects New York's two other top free agents, Steve Novak and J.R. Smith, to return. Novak is an unrestricted free agent while Smith has a player option of $2.443 million.

The Knicks need to keep their backcourt intact by keeping Lin, Novak and Smith to overcome the loss of Iman Shumpert and Baron Davis, who both went down with knee injuries in the playoffs.

"So we're going to have to see if we can upgrade the rest of the roster while Shump is out and to replace Baron," Grunwald said.

Grunwald also refused to comment regarding Smith's arrest in Miami on a bench warrant for not having a valid driver's license.



Guarded Optimism: Knicks Expect Jeremy Lin to Stay