With their eyes on a championship trophy, the Knicks continue to get older, yet wiser as well. The team appears set to sign NBA veteran and champion Rasheed Wallace in the days to come.
The forward is reportedly ready to come out of retirement and join the Knicks after taking his physical this week. What’s more, he’s been working out at New York’s training facility as of late.
Because of this, Wallace’s forthcoming signing should not come as a complete shock. After targeting Kenyon Martin a bit earlier in the offseason, it was clear that the Knicks felt as though they had a void to fill at the backup power forward position. They seem to have done so with the new addition.
Wallace’s personality and past public remarks make him a total public relations firecracker in the heart of the Big Apple. His signing is a bit surprising in that regard, but the Knicks obviously believe he can still contribute enough on the hardwood to be worth the risk.
Many fans are referring to Wallace as the team’s “fifteenth man” when praising New York’s depth, but it’s important to remember that although he is in fact a late addition, the veteran will in no way be the last man to get up off the bench each and every night.
In addition to bolstering the rotation, the acquisition of Wallace will also knock a couple of players (like Kurt Thomas, for instance) down in the depth chart. What’s more, after being depended on heavily in smaller lineups, Steve Novak will likely share minutes with the newest Knickerbocker. That said, at least the sharpshooter will no longer have to be exposed on the defensive end against taller competitors.
Besides splitting time with Novak, Wallace will surely spell Amar’e Stoudemire often too. Due to his explosive and physical style on the court, perhaps the 2004 NBA champ can help endure some of the bumps and bruises of the daily grind, taking some pressure off STAT.
What the addition of Wallace means is that the Knicks weren’t feeling 100% confident in the ability of their roster as it stood. That recognized, from a basketball standout, signing the big man is still a no-brainer, regardless. The team has nothing to lose in giving him a shot, and could very well end up filling a necessary void in the process.
It will be interesting to see how much Wallace has left in the tank as the season goes on.