Tyson Chandler on Rasheed Wallace as Knicks backup: ‘It’s going to be nice’
New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler hinted at Rasheed Wallace joining the Knicks this season, saying “it’s going to be nice” to have him as a backup, according to comments he made to Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com:
“To have myself and Amare [Stoudemire] and to have Marcus Camby and Rasheed as backups, it’s going to be nice.”
The Knicks reportedly want the former NBA champion and are “willing to take a gamble” on him, according to a report from Marc Berman of The New York Post, but at this point, the ball is in Wallace’s court; it’s up to him as to whether he wants to make a comeback after being out of the league for two years. He turned 38-years-old earlier in September:
The Knicks feel they have nothing to lose for the veteran’s minimum of $1.7 million.
Even Wallace’s agent, Bill Strickland, said he’ll be more of a facilitator than an adviser to Wallace this time around:
“He will make this decision on his own,’’ Strickland told The Post. “Rasheed’s his own man. This time I’ll be more a facilitator than an advisor. As he’s told me, he’s a grown man and he’s got this.”
Strickland said he hasn’t had any “formal discussions” with the Knicks about a contract for Wallace. Allan Houston, the Knicks’ assistant general manager, is also represented by Strickland.
Chandler praised Wallace for his communication on defense, a trait that Chandler has been known for as last seasons NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and said that he knows Wallace can still hit the three and an open jumper. Chandler was at the workout that Wallace had with the Knicks on Sept. 22 and said that the 15-year veteran “looked good” and would be a “great addition” to the team.
The Knicks currently have two roster spots remaining and have reportedly been interested in a number of other players, namely forwards, including Kenyon Martin and Josh Howard. But it is believed that Martin wants more than the veterans minimum, which would be more than the Knicks could afford, and Howard is believed to be a backup if Wallace doesn’t sign with the team. The Knicks could opt to sign one player and keep another roster spot open should a player become available during the season.