The Knicks appear to be one step closer to signing Rasheed Wallace, who could be the latest and yet another veteran player this off-season to join the team just before training camp. A person with direct knowledge of the situation said Wallace took his physical with the Knicks’ training staff Thursday.
Wallace has considered coming out of retirement for the last two years. The decision to get a physical could be a signal that his signing with the Knicks might be imminent. The person close to the situation said Wallace could sign a league minimum deal (around $1.7 million) – which is all the Knicks can offer – as soon as Friday afternoon.
It’s unclear whether Wallace would sign a full guaranteed contract or a partially guaranteed deal. The Knicks have 13 players under guaranteed contract.
Wallace’s agent, Bill Strickland, said that he hadn’t spoken directly with Wallace or the Knicks on Friday about a contract from the team. Earlier this week, Strickland said Wallace was the only person discussing a possible deal with the Knicks. At this point, Wallace is only interested in joining the Knicks this season to return to the N.B.A.
“I’m extremely confident that if Rasheed ends his retirement, it will only be with the Knicks,” said Strickland, who has represented Wallace since he entered the league in 1995. “He only wants to join the Knicks if he decides to sign a contract.”
Coach Mike Woodson was an assistant coach with the Detroit Pistons when Wallace helped the Pistons win the 2004 N.B.A. championship.
Wallace, 38, worked out with the Knicks on Saturday at their Greenburgh, N.Y., practice gym. The last game Wallace played in the N.B.A. was Game 7 of the 2010 finals as a member of the Boston Celtics. The Celtics lost that game to the Los Angeles Lakers. Wallace played well in the final game of his career, scoring 11 points with 8 rebounds. He averaged 9 points and 4.5 rebounds a game coming off the bench that season.
If Wallace becomes a Knick, he will be the fourth oldest player on the roster, a remarkable statistic given that Wallace is 38 years old. Jason Kidd (age 39), Kurt Thomas (39), and Marcus Camby (38) joined the team this off-season.
This is a more complete version of the story than the one that appeared in print.