It was one of the worst kept secrets of the off-season. The New York Knicks had been flirting with Rasheed Wallace for a while and were trying to get him to come out of retirement to join their veteran laden roster. Today the Knicks announced that they have officially signed him.
Rasheed Wallace played 15 years in the NBA before retiring following a loss in the NBA finals as a member of the Boston Celtics. He's 6'11", 230 pounds and has the ability to play power forward and center. He averaged 14.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.33 blocks over 33.0 minutes in his career. He played a total of 1,088 games and started in 956 of them.
Wallace was selected fourth overall in the 1995 NBA draft out of North Carolina by the Washington Bullets. He played for Washington from 1995-96, for the Portland Trail Blazers from 1996-2004, for the Atlanta Hawks in 2004, for the Detroit Pistons from 2004-09, for the Celtics from 2009-10 and has now decided to come out of retirement after two years away from the game to join the Knicks.
Wallace was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 1996. He was named an NBA All Star four times (2000, 2001, 2006, 2008) during his prime. Wallace helped Detroit upset the Los Angeles Lakers to win an NBA Championship in 2004. Mike Woodson was one of the assistant coaches on that Detroit squad.
According to Knicks' official website KnicksNow.com the team has officially announced the signing of Rasheed Wallace.
New York Knickerbockers Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations and General Manager Glen Grunwald announced today that the team has signed free agent forward/center Rasheed Wallace to a contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
According to research by STATS, LLC after signing the 38 year old Wallace the Knicks 13-man rotation would average 32 years and 240 days old. That makes the Knicks roster the oldest in NBA history.
While Wallace's signing makes the Knicks roster older it also brings more defense, experience and championship know-how to the team. The theme to the Knicks this season is depth. Their front court now consists of Amare Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas, Rasheed Wallace and Chris Copeland. In addition, the Knicks have Carmelo Anthony and Steve Novak who can play power forward in addition to their normal position of small forward.
Wallace was in poor shape before the Knicks signed him. However, he has been working out with some of the players trying to get back into game shape for the last few weeks. Hopefully this wont be a situation of having to play the season out of shape hoping to improve but even if it is Wallace should offer the Knicks another defensive presence who can shoot the three.
The details of Wallace's contract have not been disclosed to the public but he will be signed to the veteran's minimum. The only thing in question is if the contract is guaranteed or not. With any luck Wallace will be a bargain and outplay his contract in the limited role the Knicks are hoping to use him. The last thing the Knicks or Wallace want is to regret ending his retirement.