With their potential starting five of Raymond Felton, Ronnie Brewer, Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler figured out, the New York Knicks chose to pursue experienced veterans this offseason to help control locker room and provide leadership.
However, nobody knows what to expect from the Knicks’ backups since most of them are on the wrong side of 30. Jason Kidd is 39 years old, Marcus Camby is 38 and Kurt Thomas will turn 40 in October.
The Knicks also have the 38-year-old Rasheed Wallace after signing him to a non-guaranteed contract for $1.7 million at the veteran’s minimum on Wednesday.
“It’s not like we’re looking at a player who’s going to play a lot of minutes,” head coach Mike Woodson said. “He’s an insurance policy and (a) what-if. If he gets in and plays 5-10 minutes, we’ve got to hope it’s the best 5-10 minutes to help us win basketball games. We’ve got enough guys on this team that we don’t have to play guys a lot of minutes.”
Wallace hasn’t played since the 2009-10 season, when he was a member of the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics, who lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. He averaged nine points and 4.1 rebounds in his final season and chose to spend the last two years retired when could have made roughly $12 million.
“I’m not expecting to come in here to average 25 points,” Wallace said. “I’m not expecting to come in here to average 35, 40 minutes. I’m not one to complain. I know I’m not the No. 1 guy here. I’m willing to accept my role.”
Training camp workouts have already begun and Wallace has yet to practice, but it appears that the possibility of winning another championship was too good to pass up. Wallace won a championship with the Detroit Pistons in 2004.
“Definitely,” Wallace said. “Not just to win a certain amount of games — to win it all. That’s what we’re shooting for.”