The Knicks filled their final roster spot with former lottery pick Jonathan Bender, the athletic 7-footer whom Donnie Walsh acquired for the Indiana Pacers in 1999.
As we reported here in the Fix two weeks ago, Bender came to the MSG Training Center for some workouts and the Knicks were impressed with how he looked. Bender retired from the NBA in 2006 because of chronic knee issues, but a person with knowledge of the situation said he was checked out by the Knicks medical staff, who said he looked completely healthy.
Bender declined an invite to training camp because he wanted to be 100 percent certain he was ready to come back.
Clearly, he is now.
It is a low-risk move for the Knicks, who signed him to a non-guaranteed deal through the remainder of the season at the veteran's minimum. There are no expectations whatsoever with him at this point, so it is not as if the Knicks need him to be an immediate factor. Mike D'Antoni's tight rotation is set right now and Eddy Curry must get minutes.