Here’s a short list of free agents who’ve either rejected the New York Knicks this off-season or vice-versa : Grant Hill, Allen Iverson, Jamal Tinsley, Ramon Sessions, Jason WIlliams, Jerry Stackhouse, Jerry Only, Bo Kimble, Lloyd Daniels, Bob Cousy…ok, that’s enough. There is, however, an unsigned, semi-warm body out there who might be a (relatively) acceptable fit for Mike D’Antoni’s squad (that has to play the ’09-’10 season whether they want to or not) ; Newsday’s Alan Hahn humbly submits Wally Szczerbiak, touting “the Long Island kid would have to think highly of playing for his hometown team just once before he eventually calls it a career.” Not this hometown team, either.
No doubt Wally World isn’t the same player he was in his prime. But at the bi-annual ($1.99M), he’s still a bargain for someone you can bring in off the bench as a shooter and a cerebral player who would fit well in Mike D’Antoni’s spread offense. The greatest knock is defense and we don’t deny the fact that one-on-one he just doesn’t have the foot-speed. But in a team concept, he is actually an excellent positional and help defender.
He can play some at the 2 (sitting in the corner waiting on those kick-out threes) and also obviously can handle the 3-spot. His game would fit well with Danilo Gallinari and his no-nonsense, competitive approach to the game is the right kind of influence in a room of young players. And he doesn’t have to be a high-rotation player, especially not at that price.