|Rasheed Wallace has signed with the Knicks. (Getty Images)|
The need for Sheed has been officially fulfilled.
The New York Knicks announced Wednesday the signing of veteran forward Rasheed Wallace. The deal had been anticipated in recent weeks.
The 38-year-old unrestricted free-agent forward hasn't played in the NBA since April 2010. He reportedly worked out for the team and underwent a physical this week.
Wallace chose to return with the Knicks because of his relationship with coach Mike Woodson, which dates back to their time together in Detroit. Woodson was an assistant and Wallace was a star forward for the Pistons. League sources tell CBSSports.com that the Knicks expect Wallace to be a positive addition to their veteran locker room, due to his well-known sense of humor and experience. However, the questions about the state of his conditioning do remain.
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 Detroit 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 last 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 likely would 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 in salary 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.