Can Rasheed Wallace really help the Knicks?
by Bill Ingram, Hoopsworld.com
One of the more surprising names to surface in the final days of NBA free agency is that of Rasheed Wallace, who retired from the league after spending the 2009-10 season with the Boston Celtics.
In recent days, the rumor mill has had Wallace and the New York Knicks involved in talks about potentially joining the team this season, and now it sounds like that’s going to happen.
According to myriad reports out of New York, Wallace has taken his physical and the deal is all but done.
There are a couple of questions that still need to be answered, however, assuming that all the paperwork clears and Wallace joins the Knicks for training camp. First of all, as things stand today, Wallace would be the 20th player under contract heading into training camp. Can the Knicks realistically carve out a spot for Wallace?
Second, and more importantly, if they do give up someone younger and potentially more productive, can Wallace justify that move?
When we last saw Wallace, he was wearing the Boston green and looked like a player who was ready to retire. He had the worst year of his career in 2009-10, appearing in 79 games, starting 13, but averaging just nine points per game. He shot a career-worst 40% from the field, and his 28% three-point accuracy was his worst since his third year in the league.
By the time the playoffs rolled around, the writing appeared to be on the wall for Wallace, who averaged just 6.1 points in 24 games, shooting 41% in the process.
It might not be fair to say that Wallace stayed a year too long; after all, he did contribute to an NBA Finals team that season, but when he announced his retirement it did appear that he had left it all on the court.
The Knicks are already considerably older than last season, with Kurt Thomas, Marcus Camby and Jason Kidd in the mix. Adding Wallace, who would be useful for little more than spot minutes, to a front court that’s already loaded with older players is a curious move. Wallace has never been known for his … [For more on How much can Rasheed Wallace really help the Knicks?, click here.]