New York Knicks Reportedly Close to Acquiring Raymond Felton
UPDATE: Sunday, July 15 at 9:01 p.m. ET by Nicholas Goss
Marc Berman of the New York Post is reporting that the Knicks will not match Jeremy Lin's offer sheet from the Houston Rockets.
Another source insists #Knicks won't match Lin's offer sheet.— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) July 15, 2012
After acquiring Raymond Felton from the Portland Trail Blazers, and already having veteran Jason Kidd on the roster, it would have been foolish to have three quality point guards on one roster. There's no need for a team like the Knicks, who have other roster weaknesses to address, to have three point guards capable of starting.
It will be interesting to see how Knicks fans respond if the team officially does not match Lin's offer sheet.
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UPDATE: Saturday, July 14 at 11:10 p.m. ET
This is reportedly a done deal. The New York Daily News' Frank Isola tweets that sources tell him Felton and Kurt Thomas have been acquired from the Trail Blazers for Jared Jeffries and Dan Gadzuric.
The Knicks have acquired Raymond Felton and Kurt Thomas from Portland for Jared Jeffries and Dan Gadzuric, sources tell the Daily News— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) July 15, 2012
This is an interesting and bold move. This very well could mean the Knicks are ready to let Jeremy Lin depart, which Marc Berman and the New York Post confirms: "The person confirmed the [Felton] trade said the Knicks do no [sic] plan to match the Rockets offer sheet."
Unfortunate. Lin, of course, is one of the biggest fan favorites in sports. Meanwhile, Felton has become a fan favored whipping boy. He was one of the season's bigger disappointments last year, and many Blazers fans felt he was out of shape and disinterested.
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Knicks close to obtaining point guard Raymond Felton in sign and trade with Blazers, source tells Y! Sports.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 15, 2012
The Knicks are considering signing UFA Raymond Felton and letting RFA Jeremy Lin walk to the Rockets, a source close to situation confirms.
The Knicks are considering signing UFA Raymond Felton and letting RFA Jeremy Lin walk to the Rockets, a source close to situation confirms.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 15, 2012
The contract offer mentioned above would pay Lin around $5 million for the first two seasons of the deal and then would jump to around $14 million in his third year. Such a deal, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post, has made the Knicks unhappy and reluctant to match because of their current salary cap situation.
Originally, Houston offered Lin a deal that would pay him $9 million during the third season of the contract, but the Rockets decided to sweeten the offer in order to scare the Knicks away.
And it might have worked.
Per the same report from Berman, the Knicks would be well over the salary cap and into luxury tax territory if they matched the Rockets' offer for Lin. Come 2014-15, the Knicks would have around $87 million wrapped up in just eight players.
Apparently that's too rich even for the Knicks' blood. That's most likely the driving force behind this new push to acquire Felton who would be the cheaper, more proven alternative to Lin.
While Felton has compiled seven seasons of stats to go by, Lin has played in only 35 games as a Knick, 25 of which were starts. Felton would be a more short-term, less-risky venture for New York to take on.
Who would you rather have running the point?
Felton flourished as a member of the Knicks back in the 2010-11 season under then coach, Mike D'Antoni. Felton averaged 17 points and nine assists per game which were numbers that far surpassed anything the 28-year-old had done before.
He would later be included in the trade that brought Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks, thus ending his tenure in New York.
The only question is if Felton can produce numbers similar to those without playing in a point guard-friendly system like D'Antoni's. However, that question is also very much valid for Lin who played his best basketball under D'Antoni as well.
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