It wasn’t the flashiest move ever made in New York Knicks history. Nor was it the most important move the team made even this offseason. However, there was definitely some significant buzz when the team announced that they have signed forward Rasheed Wallace for the 2012-13 campaign.
So now, well, what exactly is ‘Sheed going to do for the Knicks this year?
Honestly, expectations for all on-court contributions for Wallace have got to be rather low. He isn’t going to be starting. He isn’t even going to be in the first rotation off the bench. He’s behind the likes of Amar’e Stoudemire, Marcus Camby and Steve Novak in the pecking order of players that could potentially play inside.
I do think Wallace will appear in a good amount of games. Probably more than half. But, if anyone is expecting him for anything north of 15 minutes a night really needs a reality check. At this point in his career, which is getting a total jump-start after a brief retirement, ‘Sheed just isn’t that type of player.
However, the qualities Wallace does bring to this team from a chemistry standpoint cannot go understated. The Knicks front office have made it clear from the first day of the offseason that they wanted to improve the team’s chemistry in the post-D’Antoni era. That’s largely part of the reason why they elected to sign more veterans like Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas, among others.
Like the other vets now on the roster, Wallace has immense playoff experience and knows exactly what it will take to bring the Knicks from contending for a playoff spot to contending for a championship. Remember, the distinction between those two points are critical. We’re typical New York sports fans. A season after making the playoffs, making the playoffs again isn’t enough to quench our collective thirst. We want more. While Wallace may not get the points per game or critical rebounds the Knicks desperately need, he will provide the exact influence in the lockerroom this team has seemingly lacked for a number of seasons.
I, for one, am totally excited just to see Rasheed Wallace roaming the Knicks bench after a huge play. The dude is pure entertainment. He’ll be a strong voice of leadership for this team.
And that’s perfect, considering expectations for this team are higher than ever.