|Rasheed Wallace could soon sign with the Knicks. (Getty Images)|
The New York Knicks' chief basketball executive has confirmed that his team is nearing a deal with Rasheed Wallace.
PostingAndToasting.com reports that Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald said Monday at media day that the 38-year-old unrestricted free-agent forward has "not signed yet," but that the Knicks "think he probably will."
Reports first surfaced last week that the Knicks were considering signing Wallace, who hasn't played in the NBA since April 2010. He reportedly worked out for the team and underwent a physical this week. Knicks camp starts on Tuesday.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that, according to a Wallace associate, Wallace will only come back to play with the Knicks because of his relationship with coach Mike Woodson, which dates back to their time together in Detroit, where Woodson was an assistant and Wallace was a star forward for the Pistons.
Wallace last played for the Boston Celtics during the 2009-10 season. He announced his retirement in August 2010 but has been linked in talks of a comeback on multiple occasions, most recently in February 2012, when he was rumored to be signing with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Once a physical forward with a feathery shooting touch, Wallace won a title with the 2004 Pistons. Given the continued employment of aging veterans (including Thomas and Camby), it's understandable that Wallace would survey the landscape.
Wallace was fairly durable into his 30s, playing at least 75 games in five of his last six seasons. Still, he's going on 30 months since he has played in an NBA game. Any chance of a meaningful contribution would seem to be unlikely, although his role as a deep reserve big man in New York would likely be very limited: hit wide open mid-range shots and give fouls around the rim.
According to Basketball-Reference.com, Wallace made more than $156 million during his 15 NBA seasons. He posted career averages of 14.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game during a career that included stops with the Washington Bullets, Portland Trail Blazers, Atlanta Hawks, Pistons and Celtics.