Allen Iverson, pictured here at a recent 76ers game, doesn't consider himself retired and wants "to play basketball so bad." (Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
The Knicks are badly depleted at the guard position going into free agency, but one name they will not turn to is Allen Iverson.
The New York Post reports that the Knicks are not interested in bringing aboard Iverson, citing the risk involved. In an interview with ESPN during Game 6 of the Philadelphia 76ers-Boston Celtics series last Wednesday, he dismissed the notion he was retired and said he wants "to play basketball so bad."
The Post notes that Knicks head coach Mike Woodson, who signed an extension Friday, coached Iverson for two seasons in Philadelphia under head coach Larry Brown. Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald also said Friday that the team needs to upgrade its backcourt.
Toney Douglas, who for most of the season was the team's fourth-string point guard, is currently the only guard under contract going into next season. The Knicks are planning to re-sign star point guard Jeremy Lin and shooting guard Landry Fields, who are both restricted free agents, but they still need some backcourt help. Point guard Baron Davis is likely out for the year after a brutal knee injury during the Knicks' first-round playoff series loss to the Miami Heat. And guard Iman Shumpert will also miss at least a month or two after tearing his ACL against the Heat.
Iverson hasn't played since the 2009-10 season, when he played in just 28 games splitting time between the 76ers and Memphis Grizzlies.
If they re-sign Lin, some backup free-agent targets that could interest the Knicks include free agents Raymond Felton and Derek Fisher.