Knicks Rumors: Signing Raymond Felton Would Be Severe Setback for New York
The New York Knicks are losing out on top-tier point guards and are about to settle for Plan C.
With Steve Nash going to the Los Angeles Lakers and Jeremy Lin zeroing in on a deal with the Houston Rockets, the Knicks are now targeting free agent Raymond Felton according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.
The report states that the Knicks will be looking to acquire the former Knick via a sign-and-trade so they can still use the $3 million mid-level exception on another free agent. Isola believes Toney Douglas would be sent to the Portland Trail Blazers.
While Felton may have played the best ball of his career during his tenure with the Knicks, this is not the same player. He averaged 17.1 points and nine assists per game in 54 games with New York before suffering a serious statistical setback.
Somehow over the course of two months with the Denver Nuggets, Felton lost his aggressiveness. He stopped getting to the paint and it resulted in 11.5 points and 6.5 assists. Considering the Nuggets had the top ranked offense two years ago, it was a bit of a head-scratcher.
He was quickly shipped to the Trail Blazers last summer and showed up for the 2011-12 season overweight and undermotivated.
The results weren’t pretty.
He shot 40 percent from the field en route to 11.4 points and 6.5 assists—just like he did with Denver. Felton was one of the main scapegoats for a disappointing season in Portland, and at the age of 28 looked to be nothing more than a role player moving forward.
Now the Knicks are hinging their hopes on Felton returning to his 2010 form? You know, back when it was still Mike D’Antoni’s team and ball-stopper Carmelo Anthony had yet to join the squad.
Did I mention he is an awful defender that has never shown the urge to improve?
While it may not be a huge gamble financially, this is a serious downgrade from Nash or Lin. Sure the Knicks could match the deal Houston put on the table for Lin, but they may not be able to. According to an ESPN.com report, Houston made their offer extremely backloaded to ensure the Knicks would be weary of adding a significant amount of payroll for when the stricter luxury tax goes into effect in 2013-14.
Lin coming back to the Big Apple is not a shoe-in, and if they lose out, then Felton could be the opening night starter. If this is indeed the case, they’ll be settling.
Should the Knicks Acquire Raymond Felton?
With better and younger options like Ramon Sessions and Aaron Brooks still available, and battle-tested veteran leader Jason Kidd still on the market, they have superior options.
All of the above players could be signed with the mid-level exception, and Douglas wouldn’t have to be traded. Sure you could argue that Felton can be the backup if Lin does come back, but is that worth surrendering the young and talented Douglas?
The Knicks are in trouble at point guard and going down the Raymond Felton road is going to provide a very bumpy and disappointing ride.
If the Knicks plan on winning a playoff series next season, they’ll have to do better than Felton.
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