The New York Knicks have been searching for an additional big man for over a couple of months now and all signs are pointing to that search being over.
According to a report from ESPN’s Jared Zwerling, the Knicks are very close to signing Rasheed Wallace.
Source close to #Knicks: All the players expect a Rasheed Wallace signing to become official. He took his physical w/ the team yesterday.
— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) September 28, 2012
Wallace had his first worked out with the Knicks on Saturday and being that he took a physical already, that means a deal is all but done.
Marc Berman of the New York Post also chimed in by saying a source reports that Wallace will be at Knicks training camp starting on Monday even though the power forward’s agent wouldn’t confirm an agreement has been reached with the team. Berman states a deal could be officially announced at some point on Friday.
With the Knicks clearly in win-now mode, it’s a move that would bring some much-needed depth up front. Wallace has the ability to stretch defenses because he can knock down jumpers and has always been reliable on the defensive end as he can guard both 4’s and 5’s. He should immediately slide in as the backup behind Amar’e Stoudemire on the depth chart.
Wallace last played for the Boston Celtics during the 2009-10 season when he averaged nine points and 4.1 rebounds per game, which was the first time in his 15-year career that he averaged less than double-digits in points per game.
Overall, the four-time All-Star has averaged 14.6 points per game over the course of his career.
But there are concerns over this signing.
For one Wallace is 38 and hasn’t played an NBA in almost two years. How much does he have left to offer?
Secondly, Wallace has been known as a guy that uses the regular season to get in NBA shape. If Stoudemire were to get hurt, or even get in foul trouble, will Wallace be able to play major minutes if needed?
Finally there’s the chemistry issue. There are a lot of new parts that need to get aclimated into Mike Woodson’s system, so Wallace being at training camp is a good thing, but he’s also been a guy in the past that likes to draw attention to himself. Are there enough technical fouls to go around between ‘Sheed, Tyson Chandler and J.R. Smith?
However the most important concern is if Wallace can settle for reduced role than what he was normally accustomed to. Can Wallace accept that role and not become a distraction?
Thoes are questions that wil be answered in time, but there’s no doubting that Wallace is a risk.
It will certainly be a tough test for Woodson, as he may have a tough time keeping all the personalities on the Knicks roster in check when things aren’t going so good.
If things do go poorly, especially early, the first thing that will be looked at is the Knicks age, as Wallace becomes the fourth current player over the age of 38, joining Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas.
Wallace seems to have got his wish as his agent said that the Knicks weere the only team that he would come out of retirement for.
Now we will have to just wait and see if the gamble pays off.
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