NBA Free Agency Rumors: Knicks Are Ideal Landing Spot for Raymond Felton

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistJuly 5, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - FEBRUARY 15:  Raymond Felton #5 of the Portland Trail Blazers celebrates after they defeated the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on February 15, 2012 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Raymond Felton was enjoying the best season of his career as a member of the New York Knicks two seasons ago before the team traded him in the blockbuster deal for Carmelo Anthony. Bringing him back would be a wise move.

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports the Knicks are the favorites to land Felton. The point guard's market is likely to heat up quickly now that Steve Nash has joined the Los Angeles Lakers, which means the Knicks need to act fast.

Felton was averaging 17 points, nine assists and four rebounds before his trade to the Nuggets. The Knicks were giving him extended playing time—38 minutes per game—and he was rewarding them with terrific production.

You can blame the front office for trading him while his value was high, however. Players like Anthony don't come around often, and when you have a chance to acquire one, it's tough to pass up.

Now they have a chance to bring back one of the key pieces of that deal while still having Anthony on the squad. Felton really seemed to find a comfort zone in New York, where many players crumble another the pressure, and a return should provide another boost to his career.

The Knicks are still dealing with the Jeremy Lin situation. The Knicks are likely to match any offer sheet he's given, especially since Nash is no longer on the market as an option, but nothing is official at this point.

Felton would provide the team with a little breathing room to make the Lin situation far less tense. If last year's breakout star does return, they would form a nice tandem at the point.

It's also important to remember there's no guarantee Lin will be able to replicate his success from last season. He's coming off knee surgery and those can sap some quickness if not fully healed, and that's a big part of Lin's game.

Adding a reliable option like Felton to protect themselves would be the right move. If Lin continues to improve and Felton has to come off the bench, it would still be a nice addition. So it's really a win-win scenario for the Knicks.

They already have a strong base in Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler. Adding more depth is the key, and starting on the perimeter is the way to go. That's why it's good to see the Knicks so active in free agency.

Felton wouldn't be the answer to all of the team's problems, but he would be another step in the right direction. And he isn't going to find a better landing spot than New York.

It's a great match.