1:28 pm Sep. 24, 2012
The Knicks certainly have a type.
Eager to add one more big man to their roster ahead of fast-approaching training camp, the New York Knicks worked out onetime star Rasheed Wallace last week for the role.
Wallace, who turned 38 on September 17, hasn't played in the N.B.A. since 2010, when he finished the season with the Boston Celtics. He is, like Marcus Camby, Jason Kidd and Kurt Thomas, a veteran who can clearly help the Knicks if he approximates his peak value. And if he doesn't, he'll be another old piece on a team with plenty of them.
Wallace was an elite N.B.A. player in his prime, and with precisely the strengths the Knicks could use off the bench. At his best, he was a terrific interior defender and rebounder who could also shoot the three. That's a rare combination, and it helped to make him an extremely valuable member of 14 different playoff teams throughout his career.
Wallace also had a temper, once drawing 41 technical fouls in a season, which at times obscured his remarkable playing record. But as he aged, his effectiveness declined, too. His P.E.R., a career at 17.0, dropped to 13.1 in his final season back in 2009-10, then to just 10.4 in the playoffs.
This all might be a smokescreen for Kenyon Martin, the still-active power forward who has yet to sign anywhere. Martin wants more than the veteran's minimum to sign; the Knicks are limited by the new collective bargaining agreement to offering no more than that.
Perhaps seeing Wallace in position to take one of his few remaining landing spots will convince Martin to move.
Otherwise, the Knicks could well be relying on Wallace to join the other grizzled veterans on the bench, trying to turn back time just enough to help the team while Carmelo Anthony is still capable of carrying it.