'Economics' won't dictate Sheed's decision

September, 26, 2012
9/26/12
5:00
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Rasheed Wallace is in the process of deciding whether to come out of retirement.

And, apparently, greed won't be a factor for 'Sheed.

His agent, Bill Strickland, says economics are unlikely to play a role in Wallace's decision.

The Knicks have expressed interest in signing Wallace. New York brought Wallace in for a workout at the team's facility on Saturday, according to ESPN's Ric Bucher.

[+] EnlargeRasheed Wallace
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesRasheed Wallace
They would have just the $1.7 million veteran's minimum to offer.

Luckily for the Knicks, Strickland says Wallace's decision likely isn't "going to be determined by economics because he's done very well and he has been good about his money. I just think that it has got to be the right place."

It's unclear if Wallace, 38, has other, more lucrative offers on the table.

Strickland, out of respect for Wallace's privacy, did not reveal details about his client's plans.

Wallace has ties to the Knicks. He played under Mike Woodson in Detroit. Woodson was an assistant under Larry Brown when the Pistons won the 2004 title and was considered one of the main architects of Detroit's stingy defense.

Strickland called Wallace's relationship with Woodson a "positive" one.

"I would think a pre-existing relationship with a coach would factor into most players' decision as to whether or not they would return," he said.

Wallace retired at the end of the 2009-10 season, which he spent with Boston. He left nearly $12 million on the table when he walked away from the game. According to reports, Wallace was out of shape early in that season, but seemed to get into form as the year went on.

It is unclear if Wallace is in playing shape now. (For what it's worth, here is video of Wallace playing in a Pro-Am league over the past two summers.) A league source said Wallace is a "possible" candidate to join the Knicks.

The Knicks have 13 guaranteed contracts, and in theory can add two more to get to the maximum roster allotment of 15. They have 19 players overall under contract, but six of the 19 are under partial or non-guaranteed deals.

They've also shown interest in Kenyon Martin and Lou Amundson, among others. Amundson signed with Minnesota earlier this week. Martin hasn't made a decision. Reports earlier this summer indicated he was holding out for a more lucrative deal than the veteran's minimum, which is all the Knicks can offer.

New York, of course, could decide to stand pat and leave two roster spots open in case a veteran becomes available during the season. Or the Knicks could use the final two spots to carry two players not under fully guaranteed contracts.

If they bring the 6-foot-11 Wallace in, it would likely be to back up Amare Stoudemire and, barring injury, fill in at center. Wallace, widely known for his penchant for technical fouls, is also a strong post defender.

The Knicks have Jason Kidd, 39, Marcus Camby, 38, and Kurt Thomas, 39, on the roster. Bringing in Wallace would only enforce the notion that this is a win-now team. Due to the length of the contracts for Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks are widely believed to have a three-year window to win with this particular group.

Strickland says that he hasn't had any formal contract discussions on Wallace's behalf with anyone in the Knicks organization, including assistant general manager Allan Houston, who is a former client of Strickland's.

But Wallace, who Strickland says turned down several offers to come out of retirement over the past two seasons, may be negotiating on his own.

"I don't have to hold his hand," Strickland says of the 15-year veteran.

Strickland stressed that the decision to return will rest solely with Wallace.

"I can't compel him to play, nor could I compel him to stay retired. It's going to be totally his decision," Strickland said.

Question: Do you think the Knicks should go after Rasheed?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

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