According to Wallace’s agent, Bill Strickland, the Knicks have yet to begin formal contract negotiations with his client, but Wallace wants to return to the NBA as a member of the Knicks. He was given a physical and is expected to attend training camp on Monday and assuming the Knicks sign Wallace, he’ll make the veteran’s minimum salary of $1.7 million.
“That’s my understanding, based on his relationship with Coach (Mike) Woodson,” Strickland said.
Wallace last played in the NBA for the Boston Celtics during the 2009-10 season, which ended in a Game 7 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, but the majority of his career was spent with the Portland Trailblazers and Detroit Pistons. He won a championship ring with Detroit in 2004 when Mike Woodson was an assistant coach there.
At age 38, Wallace will likely need to get back into NBA shape, but the Knicks appear to be confident that he will be able to provide an upgrade as a defensive player who can knock down a few three-pointers.
The addition of Wallace will give the Knicks another player who is on the wrong side of thirty as Camby is 38, Jason Kidd is 39 and Thomas will turn 40 in October.
Technically, the Knicks have one guaranteed roster spot available since the Knicks signed Chris Copeland to a non-guaranteed contract. Copeland was expected to make the final roster a few weeks ago, but it appears the Knicks will be going in a different direction with the potential signing of Wallace.
Other players the Knicks could pursue for the final guaranteed roster spot are Josh Howard, who has received interest from other teams that would allow him to get more playing time and Kenyon Martin, who has yet to realize that he won’t get more than the veteran minimum.