Knicks

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Newsday's Al Iannazzone takes you inside the Knicks.

Knicks have a need for Rasheed

Boston Celtics center Rasheed Wallace runs down the

Boston Celtics center Rasheed Wallace runs down the court after scoring a 3-point shot in the second half of Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals. (May 26, 2010) (Credit: AP)

The Knicks could add another graybeard with a winning pedigree soon.

Rasheed Wallace is expected to come out of retirement and sign with the Knicks, according to a league source.

Wallace, 38, hasn’t played in the NBA since 2010. But he worked out for the Knicks last week and a source confirmed he took his physical with them Thursday. 

“Should he decide to return to the league it will be as a Knick,” Wallace’s agent Bill Strickland said.

The Knicks open training camp next week and all signs point to Wallace being there.

He would give the Knicks depth and insurance at the backup power forward and center positions. They have Kurt Thomas, 39, and Marcus Camby, 38, to play those spots now behind Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler.

Although they’re still not considered a championship contender, the Knicks clearly have a win-now mentality. They're assembling a tough, defensive-minded veteran team to complement the offensive exploits of Carmelo Anthony.

Adding Wallace would give the Knicks four players who are 38 and older as they also signed point guard Jason Kidd. All four have played in the NBA Finals. Wallace helped the Pistons win the title in 2004.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson was an assistant on that Detroit team and his relationship with Wallace is a reason he’s expected to sign with the Knicks for the veteran’s minimum.

“Given his relationship with the coach, if he decides to return it will be with the Knicks organization,” Strickland said.

Wallace has averaged 14.6 points and 6.7 rebounds over his 15-year NBA career with Washington, Portland, Atlanta, Detroit and Boston.

An extremely vocal and emotional player, Wallace has amassed 304 technical fouls. But the 6-foot-10 big man is considered a great teammate. He’s a hard-nosed defender who can knock down the open shot.

How much Wallace has left remains to be seen. But that can be said for many on the Knicks’ roster this season.
 

Tags: Rasheed Wallace , Bill Strickland , Carmelo Anthony , Amar'e Stoudemire , Jason Kidd , Kurt Thomas , Marcus Camby , Mike Woodson

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