One of the perils of running a team in New York is that you’ve got to suffer the impossible expectations that fans and media heap upon you. That’s something Glen Grunwald has dealt with over the past week.

Grunwald came into the NBA’s free agency period with his options severely limited by penalties written into the new collective bargaining agreement, armed only with the mini-midlevel exception (worth $3.1 million per year) and veteran minimum deals, and yet was somehow linked to the likes of Monta Ellis, Nate Robinson and Tony Allen.

In reality, with the first week of free-agency wrapping up, Grunwald’s Knicks couldn’t afford to match the two years, $6 million given by the Pacers to Chris Copeland, and might miss out on Elton Brand, who made $2.1 million last year, because of a lack of funds. Brand would be welcome to sign with the Knicks, but to do so, he would have to take a pay cut and sign at the league minimum of $1.4 million.

This week, Grunwald decided to keep guard Pablo Prigioni with the team, slicing off $1.7 million of the mini-midlevel and leaving that $1.4 million slot—which is the equivalent of a league-minimum contract for a player with 10 or more years of experience—open. It’s Brand’s if he wants it.

Grunwald has made similar pitches to other free agents who might be able to get more money elsewhere. There is some hope that Carlos Delfino could be signed for less than he's worth because he’d like to play in New York. Adding a third point guard—like Sebastian Telfair—is also on the list, and the Knicks might ultimately keep big man Kenyon Martin.