- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Before the All Star break, the Knicks gained plenty of depth. J.R. Smith signed as a free agent and Baron Davis made his long-anticipated debut.
It appears they'll be getting even deeper this week.
Forward Josh Harrellson (wrist) and guard Iman Shumpert (knee) will return to practice on Tuesday, according to the Knicks.
Harrellson has been out since fracturing his right wrist on Jan. 21. Shumpert has been sidelined since last Monday due to left knee tendinitis that became too severe to play with. Harrellson is cleared to practice in full and Shumpert is slated to practice on a limited basis.
Mike D'Antoni said before the break that Harrellson would return no later than the Knicks' game at Boston on March 4. Shumpert's exact return date is less clear.
The return of both rookies will bolster the Knicks' bench.
When healthy, Harrellson proved that he can knock down the outside shot. The 6-10 forward hit 35 percent of his 3-point attempts in his first 16 games.
The Knicks enter play Wednesday with the fourth-worst 3-point shooting percentage in the league.
Shumpert has proved to be extremely valuable as a defender, particularly on the perimeter. Last Monday against New Jersey, the Knicks felt Shumpert's absence. The Nets hit 15-of-31 3-point attempts with Deron Williams knocking down a career high eight.
The first-year guard is fourth in steals per 48 minutes, with 3.18 (based on players who play at least 20 minutes per game).
In other injury news, Bill Walker is not expected to practice on Tuesday. He has been out since last Sunday due to a sore left elbow.
It'll be interesting to see how D'Antoni shuffles his rotation to make room for Shumpert and Harrellson.
Harrellson may take minutes away from Jared Jeffries, who has thrived as a team defender and showed an improved touch on the offensive end since Jeremy Lin took over at point guard.
Before he went down with an injury, D'Antoni liked using Harrellson with Amare Stoudemire in the second unit because Harrellson stretched the defense and created space for Stoudemire to operate.
In Shumpert's case, the former Georgia Tech standout may play small forward in the second unit, teaming with Baron Davis and J.R. Smith. But he could also play in one of the guard spots, particularly if Davis is slow to regain form from a back injury.
No matter how D'Antoni slices up the minutes, it seems as if, barring injury, Walker will be out of the regular rotation.
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