When the New York Knicks signed Rasheed Wallace head coach Mike Woodson viewed the 15-year veteran as a “insurance policy”, but their plan has since backfired.
Wallace, 38, has been out since Dec. 15 with a stress reaction in his left foot.
New York were very hopeful that the 6-11 big man would start running this week, but he has yet to do so, according to multiple reports.
“He’ll be back — but when, I don’t know,” Woodson said. “We’re gradually trying to get him back where he can run again so he can get back in a uniform. But when, we don’t know when yet.”
Various members of the Knicks organization would like to wait for Wallace to heal, but according to two league sources, the Knicks fear Wallace could miss the rest of the season due to the stress reaction, Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com reports.
In 20 games this season Wallace has been the low-post presence the Knicks were looking for, averaging 7.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in 14.6 minutes, but New York most certainly have to fill the void via free agency if Rasheed is truly out for the remainder of the season.
Marcus Camby is sidelined two to four weeks due to a left plantar fascia injury, and Amar’e Stoudemire is playing his way back into shape after knee surgery during the off-season.
The presumed favorite is Carmelo Anthony’s former teammate Kenyon Martin.
Martin, 35, could provide the same tenacity as Wallace even though he doesn’t bring a true threat around the perimeter.
According to Begley, one source stated that Wallace was having trouble pushing off on his left foot.
“It’s not looking good,” the source said.
If New York decides to add a free agent they will have to cut a member of their 15-man NBA roster because all of their contracts are guaranteed.
The Knicks are currently second in the Eastern Conference and first in the Atlantic Division by a game and a half.
Teams like the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets are surging, but is it truly time for the Knicks to push the panic button and make a move to stay atop the East if Begley’s sources are correct?
Stay tuned as this story develops.
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