NBA PM: Knicks Consider Martin, Amundson
Rasheed Wallace has missed the New York Knicks’ last 21 games with a stress reaction in his left foot and there’s a growing concern within the organization that this injury will continue to limit him even if he’s able to make a return before the end of the season, according to sources.
While numerous reports suggested Wallace could be out for the season, Knicks head coach Mike Woodson recently told reporters that the 38-year-old would return sometime after the All-Star break. However, Woodson didn’t offer any specifics, other than the fact that he’ll only be able to play a handful of minutes each night and that “he’ll never be 100 percent,” according to Adam Zagoria.
Wallace, who came out of a two-year retirement to sign a non-guaranteed deal with the Knicks, was a surprise contributor early in the season, but it seems that his injury will keep him from returning as a staple in Woodson’s rotation. Wallace had been playing 14.6 minutes per game and played 20 or more minutes in three games, but it sounds like that won’t be possible anymore.
Because the Knicks aren’t sure if Wallace will be available or effective, and Marcus Camby has also been limited with a sprained left plantar fascia, the team has considered signing a free agent big man. Kenyon Martin and Lou Amundson are two players whom the Knicks have discussed internally, according to sources.
New York was holding out hope that Wallace would return and be just as productive as he was earlier in the year. Getting Wallace back was their preference since he had been with the team for the whole season, had proven himself as a significant contributor and had emerged as a strong locker room presence. However, if Wallace is ineffective or unable to play many minutes when he comes back, expect New York to sign Martin or Amundson for the remainder of the season to bolster their depleted frontcourt.
Martin is an unrestricted free agent who last played with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2011-12. He averaged 5.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, one block and one steal in 22.4 minutes off the Clippers’ bench. Martin has played with Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, Marcus Camby and Jason Kidd earlier in his career.
Amundson is an unrestricted free agent who was waived by the Minnesota Timberwolves to make room for Mickael Gelabale and Chris Johnson this season. He averaged 1.6 points and 2.4 rebounds in 8.1 minutes off the Timberwolves’ bench. Amundson has played with Amar’e Stoudemire and Ronnie Brewer earlier in his career.
Teams have until the final day of the regular season, April 17, to sign players.
Jamal Crawford Discusses Injuries
The Los Angeles Clippers have been beat up recently with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Caron Butler, Chauncey Billups and Jamal Crawford sidelined for a variety of injuries.
Crawford, in particular, has been limited due to three injuries – a left thigh bruise, a broken nose and a right shoulder injury. The broken nose and right shoulder injury occurred on the same play, when he collided with Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry. He fractured his nose on impact and his shoulder locked up shortly after.
“Honestly, the last trip was probably the most banged up I’ve been at one time in my career,” Crawford admitted. “I got kneed in the thigh, my nose was broken, my shoulder was still coming around so it was the most banged up, for sure.”
Rather than sitting out because of the injuries, Crawford played against the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards, mainly because Paul and Billups were already out so the Clippers’ backcourt was depleted.
Even though he was hurting, Crawford managed to score 23 points against Boston and 28 points against Washington. He sat out one game against the Orlando Magic, but played through pain against the Miami HEAT, New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers.
“Maybe if you don’t have that camaraderie, that family atmosphere, then if a guy is out you may be like, ‘Well, I’m out too. I’m hurt.’ But with this team, you would do anything for them,” Crawford said of playing hurt. “And we’re all like that, it’s not just me. We’re all like that.”
For the first time in his career, Crawford tried to play with a mask in the game against Boston. However, he realized that the mask limited him more than the various injuries, so he has ditched it.
“The mask was the best defender I’ve seen this year,” Crawford said with a laugh. “Honestly, I was like, ‘Oh, no.’ I couldn’t even see my feet.”
Just because Crawford isn’t wearing the mask, doesn’t mean his nose is healed. He admits that it’s still tough for him to breath, which makes the fact that he has scored 20 or more points in four of the last five games even more impressive.
“It’s a little hard breathing,” Crawford said. “At night, honestly, the first three or four nights, I thought, ‘I can’t do it. I can’t breathe. How am I going to fall asleep?’ I got so tired that I would just fall asleep. But breathing is tough.”
Every team enjoys the All-Star break, but few need the time off more than the Clippers.
Don’t Expect the Rockets to Make a Big Trade
The Houston Rockets have been incredibly active at the trade deadline in recent years, but Rockets general manager Daryl Morey insists that won’t be the case this season.
Last month, Morey told HOOPSWORLD that the Rockets will be more stable going forward rather than making trades since they’re no longer searching for a franchise cornerstone to build around after acquiring All-Star shooting guard James Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder before the season.
Rather than making more trades, the Rockets will try to add talent through free agency, which is easier now that they have Harden to recruit players. Morey confirmed this to Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports.
“Most likely, it’s not going to be through trade,” Morey told USA TODAY Sports. “Most likely, it’s going to be through the use of our cap room where we have max room this summer.
“I think [the time between now and the deadline] is going to be quiet. Of course a year ago, if you would’ve said, ‘James Harden – what about him?’ I would’ve said, ‘No way. They won’t trade him.’ You never know. You stay opportunistic. But I would guess that this trade deadline is going to be quiet.”
The NBA’s trade deadline is on Feb. 21. Keep checking HOOPSWORLD for the latest news and rumors.
HOOPSWORLD’s All-Star Coverage
The 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend kicks off this Friday in Houston and HOOPSWORLD will be in attendance to provide you with plenty of All-Star content. Over the next several days, we’ll be running All-Star articles and videos. Make sure you check back for the latest All-Star material.
All-Star Weekend also produces plenty of trade rumors since every executive will be in Houston. HOOPSWORLD will keep you updated on all of the latest trade rumors and news. Starting next week, we’ll be rolling out our trade deadline diary, which you won’t want to miss.