New York Knicks

How New York Knicks Adding Rasheed Wallace Actually Helps the Team

The Knicks' Rasheed Wallace addition may play out differently than you may think.
The Knicks' Rasheed Wallace addition may play out differently than you may think.Elsa/Getty Images
John DornCorrespondent IIIOctober 3, 2012

According to a press release from KnicksNow.com, 38-year-old forward Rasheed Wallace will come out of retirement to play for the team this season. It's not as crazy as you may think.

The general consensus among Knicks diehards seems to be that this is a fairly unpopular move. If the Knicks were signing Wallace to be a starting forward or even to provide meaningful minutes consistently, then yes, this would be a head-scratcher.

The Knicks roster is basically set right now, however. They simply chose to give a last roster spot to Wallace over some rookie trying to find his game, and judging by their previous moves this offseason, it shouldn't have come as a surprise.

It's no secret the Knicks may be the oldest team ever. Here's a bit from a USA Today story Wednesday:

Assuming 38-year-old Rasheed Wallace ends his retirement and signs with the Knicks this week, as expected, their 13-man rotation would average 32 years and 240 days old, the oldest in NBA history, according to research by STATS, LLC.

After dumping the likes of Jeremy Lin, Landry Fields, Jared Jeffries and Josh Harrelson in favor of Wallace, Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, Kurt Thomas and Marcus Camby, the Knicks are going to play one way: hard.

An issue for the 2012-13 Knicks was their skittishness on the big stage, and could you blame them? They were largely made up of players under 30, battling it out with teams like the Miami Heat and veteran Boston Celtics.

In his first offseason as head coach, Mike Woodson believes he's found a way to flip the script. 

 

“It’s veteran teams that are winning titles," Woodson said to the Washington Post during Monday's media day.

Woody's plan makes sense. After watching his guys bow down to LeBron James and Dwyane Wade during last year's playoffs, he's added a mean defensive core. You just hope that this is a veteran team and not an ancient one.

With Tyson Chandler already in the middle, adding Camby, Thomas and now 'Sheed to the mix creates a presence in the paint that may not have the talent to stop LeBron and Miami, but they sure won't hesitate to put a player on the hardwood if he drives their way.

This is where Wallace comes in.

Rasheed contributes to the older, tough depth the Knicks have, and the best part about it is that he'll likely spend most of his tenure on the bench.

Think of the role Juwan Howard played on the Heat last season. Ten minutes per game, at the very most, would be Wallace's on-court contribution to New York this year.

After all, the last we saw of Rasheed Wallace, he was valiantly battling in the final game of the 2010 NBA Finals, logging 36 minutes for Boston that night—his highest total of that year's postseason.

Consider his locker-room presence, his popularity among the players, and the sort of mentality he can help instill among this Knicks squad. This move doesn't seem half-bad.

Unless the injuries start to pile up. 

If Rasheed Wallace is starting for the Knicks, that's when you'll know the season has gone awry.

Follow John Dorn on Twitter at @JSDorn6 for more Knicks chatter.

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