Are New York Knicks Right to Keep Injured Rasheed Wallace on Roster?
Rasheed Wallace is done for the regular season.
It's already been over two months since Sheed last appeared for the Knicks, and with this latest news he'll struggle to get back in time for the first round of the playoffs.
When you take into account that Wallace wasn't even in good shape at the start of the season, the odds are definitely against him coming back and making an impact for New York.
It begs the question of whether or not he should be waived for another player, but it appears the Knicks are happy to keep him on the roster. Here's what head coach Mike Woodson had to say about the situation (via ESPN):
We know that the surgery was successful, now it’s just up to him to rehab. He wants to play. That was the whole reason for bringing him. Unfortunately he’s had this surgery. It happens. We didn’t expect STAT to go through what he went through earlier in the year. The door is still open for Rasheed to come back and play. He’s just got to put in the time and rehab and put in the time on the floor because he can help us in the long run.
While it's all good and well to give Sheed a chance to come back, the Knicks—as a win-now team—need players who can produce for them and contribute to a title run. With the situation as it is, there's no guarantee that Wallace will be able to do this.
There are under 30 games left in the season, and right now the team's focus has to be on earning the second seed in the conference. And whilst the trade deadline has passed and free agents are quickly being snapped up, there are still some players out there who can help the Knicks in their quest.
Kenyon Martin has already been brought in, filling the need of a healthy defensive big on the bench. Still, the Knicks could use an upgrade at the backup point guard position.
We've seen this season that the Knicks take a turn for the worse when Raymond Felton is off the floor, and considering his injury trouble this season, the Knicks need a backup who brings similar things to the table.
Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni are good players, but the Knicks need something else at the position as well. Kidd has been much better playing off the ball in 2012-13, and Prigioni is too slow and unathletic to run the type of offense the Knicks would like.
There are two guys out there who come to mind to fill this need for the Knicks, and both would be eligible to play in the playoffs.
The first is Delonte West. After being waived by the Dallas Mavericks during the preseason for locker room trouble, he's been sitting out so far this season.
Still, if West can shake off his attitude problems, he still has the chance to return as one of the league's best backup point guards.
West will join the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League on Monday (via Yahoo! Sports), giving the Knicks a chance to see if he's in shape. If he is, there should be no hesitation to offer him a low-risk 10-day contract.
The second of the two players is Aaron Brooks.
After falling out of the Sacramento Kings rotation, Brooks reached a buyout agreement just in time for the playoff eligibility deadline (via USA Today), and is now up for grabs on the free-agent market.
Over the course of his six-year career, Brooks has proven himself as a truly explosive player off the bench. This season, he is shooting a career-high 46 percent from the field, and his ability to penetrate is something that could really help the Knicks.
As great as Sheed was when healthy, the Knicks need to be getting the best out of all 15 spots on the roster. Having a player on there who might not be able to play again when there are other helpful options in free agency is not a smart move.
With Martin signed, the Knicks won't even necessarily need Sheed when healthy, so it's certainly confusing that they feel the need to keep him on the team despite the injury.
Cutting Wallace isn't going to make or break the Knicks' year, but it could still help them as we near the end of the regular season.
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