Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE
Is he really gonna be ready for the playoffs?
My immediate reaction to news that Rasheed Wallace would have surgery with an eight-week recovery was "Okay, cut him. Keep him around because he's a wonderful creature, but cut him from the roster". The Knicks, at least right now, seem to disagree:
The Knicks will keep Rasheed Wallace on their roster. Team says it's possible he could play in the playoffs.— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) February 27, 2013
League source with knowledge of team's thinking expects the #Knicks to keep Rasheed Wallace on the roster for the rest of the season.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) February 27, 2013
Now, I think I can see the Knicks' logic. I imagine they fear a Sheed-less scenario in which the Knicks are battling through a game seven (probably in the Finals, since we're thinking like the Knicks right now. Maybe even the World Series),Tyson Chandler picks up his fourth foul, Marcus Camby has long since been sidelined with more plantar fasciitis, Kenyon Martin got ejected for biting a ref, and a front line of Amar'e Stoudemire and Steve Novak is getting beaten senseless around the rim. Sheed's sitting behind the bench, antsy because he feels like he could get out there and make some stops, but alas, they previously cut him to make space for Beaugregory Fitzroy, who sucks.
The mere possibility of having Sheed-- the Knicks' best interior defender this season-- available for postseason minutes is enticing. It might also be a fantasy. Eight weeks from today is late April, which is around when the playoffs start. It seems highly improbable to me that a 38 year-old big man who, after signing with the Knicks in ostensible full health, took a month to actually play basketball will nail that eight-week recovery time. Granted, the stuff Sheed skipped back in October didn't count, but the dude took weeks to even get in scrimmaging shape. This is a foot injury, meaning he can't run for a while. He's more than likely going to fall out of shape. Maybe I'm seeing things wrong, but I doubt Sheed will be ready in time to help the Knicks.
Until convinced otherwise, I'm of the opinion that the Knicks should cut Sheed and replace him as soon as possible. There are options, even if they're not totally appealing. If, even after swapping Kenyon Martin in for Ronnie Brewer, the Knicks feel they need another big, guys like Lou Amundson, Hakim Warrick, and Kyrylo Fesenko are out there. Henry Sims is thriving in the D-League, though I doubt Mike Woodson would have much interest in a rookie. Josh Harrellson is unfortunately not an option.
If the Knicks would rather add another shooter or perimeter defender, there's Delonte West (with the known risk that he might not cooperate), Chris Douglas-Roberts, offseason target Maurice Evans, D.J. Kennedy of the BayHawks...there are a whole bunch of unsigned guys, basically.
Shit, limit your list to former Knicks alone and you've still got a couple guys dominating in China (Randolph Morris and Tracy McGrady), plus old, weird friends like Bill Walker, Mike Bibby, Earl Barron, Anthony Carter, and (kinda) Kelenna Azubuike. Let's just cut everyone and piece together a really awful squad of former Knicks. I picture it like the recruitment scene in Gone In 60 Seconds, only it's Darko Milicic setting a sandwich down on the cadaver he's sawing up to take a call from Glen Grunwald.
Those are just a bunch of names, not necessarily the best ones. You can take a look for yourself. All I mean to say is that you never know when you're gonna need your fifteenth guy, and with Sheed's return being a highly dubious proposition, I'd give his roster spot to a healthy fellow instead of saving him a seat. There are guys out there. What do you think?